…they’re forming!

Day 237: Forms

So I know all you’ve had to look at for days have been those typographical mini paintings, and it’s been really dictionary/painting heavy for a bit. So I’m happy to say “and now for something completely different!”

Behold the as-yet-unnamed sculpture piece I’ve been yammering on about for the past week or so. After many trips to Home Depot/Radio Shack, Utrecht and some much appreciated assistance from my husband after my first failed tata self-wrap attempt, I finally finished this thing. What is it, you ask? It’s a, um.. illuminated formed quilt and plaster figure form? That doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue now, does it? Oh, did I say illuminated?

I’m going to have to look up sculpture vernacular or something and decide what to name it, but I’m pretty happy with it. It’s the first of a series of pieces I had a flurry of ideas for all at once that are largely sculptural. In my mind, I picture a full-on installation with all of them together. Right now, that installation space is probably going to be my garage. Except it’s triple digits out here, and I don’t expect anyone to stand around looking at sculpture sweating their faces off.

I mentioned the other day that I wanted to push myself, and this piece is one of the first in that vein. Sculpture is new for me, as is dealing with personal self-esteem issues in my artwork. I like myself- I think I’m friendly, talented and occasionally witty ;)- but I’ve always had issues with my body image. Like many women, I’ve struggled with weight issues most of my adult life.

This sculpture was made from plaster wraps of my torso, which forced me to face my actual size “in the flesh” right there in front of me. Inside is quilted, shiny white fabric I stitched with a pattern resembling fat cells. It’s an interesting piece for me, because it is a fairly literal reference to the self-deprecating feeling of being a pile of fat wrapped in skin, which taps into years of negative thinking. But at the same time, I tried to execute it in a way that was pretty and light, and I do feel that it has some kind of aesthetic value, even though the body shape represented isn’t one most people would typically associate with beauty.


12 thoughts on “…they’re forming!

  1. FanFUCKINGtastic! What to push your limits….very cool, can’t wait to see the rest! (not of your body, the rest of the sculptures…unless the rest is your body…..umm …..ok bye)


    • Haha! Anytime a response includes the F word, I know I’ve done well. The next piece is also of my body, so uh sorry about that one, but yeah. It won’t be too gross. Hopefully. That’s the plan anyway. And then there’s this sculpture with shadows thing, and a stack of letter quilts, and some other stuff involving my long unused basic electrical wiring skills. Thanks, Odyssey of the Mind!


  2. I like this piece of art! I really like the inner “fat cells” that you added – probably because tha’s how I feel about my size too. But I also think it’s important to remember 1) I’m pretty sure that we’re not as bad looking as we tend to think we are and 2) size doesn’t necessarily mean bad looking. I have seen many, many beautiful big girls.

    Anyways, I’m glad you started this particular project ~ it’s something you’re enthusiastic about and hopefully it will help you feel more comfortable with your body.


    • Thanks for your comment, Jennifer. I think you’re right. This project has both mortified me and made me see myself in a more beautiful way. Which is really odd and kind of cool, and has done more for me and my development as a person than my art usually does. Thanks for the support and encouragement! Sentiments like yours will keep me going in the freakout moments that are sure to come during this process. 🙂 -Marianne


  3. Love it, Marianne! Were you inspired by The Next Artist at all…where that pretty girl kept doing photos of herself nude? I mull over that a lot too…I have always gotten comments/looks/leers and have alternated between hating and being okay with the way I look. I look back at pics of myself when I was younger and more self-loathing, and I am shocked by how okay I looked.
    Self-image, another crapshoot.

    You are not holding back, ARE you?! 😉


    • Ah, that pretty girl, whom we so lovingly referred to as “Skeletwhore” around the house. Yeah, I found her to be really really annoying on the show. Perhaps she was edited that way. But she’s clearly really into her body- mini skirts at every turn, etc. I picked my body because it’s the thing I am least comfortable with. The biggest hangup. Yep- it’s scary art realm time. I’m excited about it though. I’m glad this work made you reflect on those things too. Then I know I’m connecting with people. Congrats again on your painting sales!


  4. Reina says:

    “Spectacular” said in my best Simon de Pury impression 😉

    This looks amazing Marianne. The rear view while its illuminated is just beautiful. I love the quilting on the inside, what great craftsmanship. I mean I am just blown away. Tim Gunn would not be dubious lol.

    I am so glad you took the time and had the courage to face something that is an uncomfortable topic for you. It is crazy to me how something you felt negative about, brought out something so beautiful. I hope if anything you realize what a beautiful person you are inside and out. I know you know that 🙂 This is a freaking awesome intro to your sculpting skills. I am so glad you pushed yourself to try something like this! All your hard work definitely shows and I like so many other people are so excited to see more!!!!


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