I finally know what I want for Christmas (or any other holiday that people want to use as an excuse to give me presents):
And it’s not just because it would make my daughter jealous or because it’s a gadget I don’t yet own.
Actually, I have known about them for a while, but it wasn’t until I saw what artist Rachel Goldsmith is doing with hers that I realized what I would do with one. Goldsmith, based in Brooklyn, recently had an exhibit opening at the Long Island City Gallery, Matted, that will run until February 7. The work that she has on display in “Tracks” was created with the 3Doodler and was covered recently on the 3Doodler blog.
I have spent years working with fiber arts and obsessing over the work of artists from contemporary artist Helen Storey to the intricate patterns of Huichol yarn paintings. The nature of Goldsmith’s work makes it apparent that there is a strong connection between working with soft fibers and creating using strands of melted PLA and ABS plastic.
The array of pieces she created for this exhibit reflect the wonder of creating intricate patterns one meditative move at a time. They lie at an interesting intersection in the world of 3D printing which normally sets manual arts, such as those utilized in fibers, as a foil against which 3D printing stands as an opposite. In addition, the repetitive nature of 3D printing when undertaken by machines is here converted to one that is carried out by hand and yet still in plastic. Goldsmith addresses those perceived dichotomies, stating:
“The scientific, almost stringent and exact, aspects of the environment are reflected in my obsessive attention to detail. These details are added through a very controlled use of the materials. In contrast, the spontaneous aspects of nature are present in the organic and fluid nature of my compositions, often created through allowing the materials to be combined in an uninhibited fashion.”
There is something meditative about a repetitive motion; weavers often speak of losing track of time as they throw the shuttle back and forth. Neuroscientists have uncovered the calming effect that repetitive motions have on the mind, something that Jonah Lehrer connects brilliantly to the practice of art in his book Proust was a Neuroscientist. Rachel Goldsmith harnesses that layering to build a map of her state of mind while also transforming that state, an act particularly appropriate to the very nature of 3D creation. The magic of drawing in 3D is a poetic medium in which to make visible the ephemeral and mystical state of human consciousness. Goldsmith carefully builds up her pieces line by line in a process that she describes as:
“[C]entering around the repetitive movements of my hand – a mind-clearing practice that yields intricate art. Each piece is a record of the path that my hand has traveled, a visual map of the movements that allow me to enter my flow-state. Inspired by my environment and the contrast between manmade and nature, these tracks are often in response to the control I have over the media and to how the media naturally interact with each other.”
Goldsmith, who received her undergraduate from the University of Michigan and her master’s degree from Pratt, was commissioned by 3Doodler to create a piece for the MoMA design store which 3Doodler’s Laura Politis said simply blew her away. Goldsmith has also partnered with The Faberge Big Egg Hunt, an arts program in which 250 enormous egg sculptures were designed by artists and then placed around the five boroughs of New York City.
Goldsmith’s work takes sketch and pattern making in a beautiful direction and her facility with the medium is clear as she changes the textures and tensions of the strands of quickly hardening plastic while making them look organic and naturally generated. This young artist has a lot to offer the arts world and I look forward to seeing her work as it continues to develop.
I also look forward to opening a package with a 3Doodler in it on Christmas morning [hint to my husband and family…]
Let us know your thoughts on art via 3Doodler over at the Rachel Goldsmith 3Doodler forum thread at 3DPB.com.