Exploring Sculptural Concepts with a Functional Form
by: Autumn Petty
Major: Studio Art
I have long been interested in collage in conveying multiple meanings and intertwining contradictory messages. I carry this concept further than the traditional flat plane of the collage techniques with clay, wood, copper, and glass. These forms become tactile visual expressions of my interest in the forms and shapes found in biological specimens. I have always been intrigued by the texture and structure of various plant forms in relationship to human structures, such as the body and architecture. I combine these things into the same piece to create unexpected relationships based upon size scale, and functional expectations. I create three-dimensional collage structures using these motifs that can serve as both a functional and sculptural form within the living space of the viewer.
I have constructed an end table and a coffee table with the intention of mixing the idea of sculpture and function within the same piece. I want all my pieces to question the idea of function in the face of sculpture. These pieces use different materials placed within layers of resin to give a sense of depth and texture. By using the clear resin I made the uneven form level and thus functional to serve as a tabletop.
A third piece I am working on combines a plant form within the structure of lighted shelves. In this piece, the viewer sees a piece of sculpture before the idea of function ever enter their mind. I want viewers to question my pieces. My work asks the viewer to look for the sculpture within the functional piece and also the functional piece within the sculpture.