Wk10-Artist Interview-Dawn Ertle

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This week I chose to interview Dawn Ertle.  This artist came into class before and talked about her installation.  I was eager to know more and see her installation in person.  Her art was something I had never seen before.  I immediately was drawn to the unique way the installations seemed to drape form the ceiling.  I began to interpret this as someones travels.  Since the piece was very intertwined, I thought it could represent the various places one has traveled to.  Maybe this is due to my desire for traveling.  I have only traveled to a couple of nearby states, but that is not enough.  Unfortunately, once I learned the inspiration for these weavings I found out my interpretation was far from the artist’s intention.

Ertle explained how the larger of the two weavings reflected the relationship between religion and politics.  She wanted it to represent how these two controversial topics play and do not play well together.  Considering I am not politically or religiously inclined, I did not see how her piece had anything to do with those two topics.  However, I was still interested to learn more about Ertle’s weavings.  This was her third installation and she was very confident in her work.  It was surprising to hear that her whole exhibition took an entire year to complete!  That goes to show just how devoted and passionate she is as an artist.  Since this installation is tied to several parts of the ceiling and walls, there is no definite shape.  This makes her art much more unique.  How amazing must it be to see your own art take on several forms and shapes every time it is displayed?

The other longer, more vertical installation was based on weather patterns.  Ertle had been working on environmental issues for 6-7 years and hoped to incorporate this knowledge with her art.  The closer I examined this installation I could definitely see where the weather patterns could be identified.  The origin of Ertle’s weavings began with plastic bags.  She still includes plastic bags in her artwork.  The other products that can be found in the weavings include straws, plastic bottles, strawberry crates, but mostly plastic bags.  Ertle even gave us an insight into the process of creating such wonderful art.  She explained how there are frames on a loom which hold the needles.  Each long yarn that is seen in her installation goes through those needles.  Then, she presses a peddle, which raises the needles up and down.  The result of these steps creates unique patterns within the yarn.  Overall, I really enjoyed Dawn’s gallery and wish her the best of the luck with any further art creations to come.

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