Monday, April 11, 2011

Reframe II: "Through the Arch"

Here is Through the Arch in its original
shadowbox frame.  The frame is
barely larger than the tiny piece.
My small architectural piece Through the Arch started out as a study of the interplay between reality and illusion--in this case paper sculpture (actual depth) and linear perspective (the illusion of depth.)

How would it look, I asked myself, if some of the appearance of depth was an optical illusion, while the rest of it was real?  Would the combination work?

I liked the way the study was developing, so I decided it should not stay in my sketchbook to get squashed. Instead, I sized it to fit into a small shadowbox I had available.  I was scheduled to do a series of displays in 2010 for the "Art in the Stacks" program of the Johnson County (KS) Library, so I was happy to add it as a new finished piece.

Through the Arch, in its 4X8-inch frame, looked small next to the 15-inch-square earthenware piece, Four Seasons Courtyard, at the "Work: In Progress" show in September 2010 at the Central Resource Library.
As I did with Windblown, I first showed this piece in the "Work: In Progress" show, September 2010, at the Central Resource Library.  It looked just fine, tucked onto its display shelf with my earthenware "architectural" work, Four Seasons Courtyard.

But then, in December, I faced the challenge of the Great Leawood Wall--a blank expanse of display wall at the Leawood Pioneer Library.  I had to find a better way to give this small but interesting piece greater presence!

Here is Through the Arch in its current frame.
I decided to attach the backing box of the work, which was about one and a half inches deep and had slipped snugly inside the first frame, to the back of a larger mat.

I found some matboard in the studio that I thought was compatible, and matted the piece out to fit into an 11X13-inch shadowbox frame.  I placed the mat right under the glass, so the depth of the shadowbox could contain the backing box.

Through the Arch hangs on the third wire from the left, in this photo of my December 2010 "Paper View" show at the Leawood Pioneer Library.
This gave the piece enough size that it didn't pull a visual disappearing act on the Leawood wall!

However, my husband Pascal, who actually knows what he's doing with a mat cutter, looked at it after I'd prepared it, and pronounced the mat colors and frame size merely "adequate."  He thinks a coordinating green mat and a smaller, 8X10-inch frame would work better.  It's likely he's right, because he has a good eye for such things.

So who knows?  Perhaps there's yet another reframing in the future, for Through the Arch.

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