Conceptual artist Rachel Perry Welty urges us to look at things we rush past in our haste for living.
“I gather whatever materials and methods I need to make what I want to make,” she says.
That means everyday items. Like bread tags – hundreds of thousands of them. Or fruit stickers and twist ties by the dozens. Or cereal and cracker boxes, mounted on floor and wall.
To her, they’re all media for her messages.
“I’m hoping that by using somewhat familiar materials, people will see the beauty and opportunity that exists in daily life,” she says.
Some time back she ran into an acquaintance who’d been collecting bread tags for 15 years – with a goal of amassing a million, to show her students what that number looked like.
“She had about 500,000 and she was happy to give them to me,” Welty says. “I built a cylinder with 208,692 of them.”
She’s fashioned messages inspired by subject messages in spam emails, spelling out “You may already be a winner!” and “What do you really want?”
A self-described late-in-life artist, Welty earned her graduate degree from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, studying sculpture, drawing, photography and performance art. Now she’s using all, and adding video, images of herself, and more to the mix.
“I perform on Twitter every day – I tweet once a day about the working life of an artist, about life and art” she says. “And I did a facebook performance for one waking day – 16 hours, once every 60 seconds. People were following me from all over the world.”
It was almost like a pointillist painting, she says. “It’s about privacy and identity and authority – what it means to be alive in this world.”
And to share her perceptions.
For more on Rachel Perry Welty, go to http://www.rachelperrywelty.com/www.rachelperrywelty.com/Welcome.html
For more on Cassihaus, go to http://architectsandartisans.com/index.php/2010/01/in-durham-a-house-for-art-and-artists/