Tuesday, May 31, 2011

16 Days of Bloom: Day Three

A String of “nightblue fruit”

I love the poetic moments of Ulysses. This necklace is inspired by one such moment (a question & answer that appears in “Ithaca”):

What spectacle confronted them when they, first the host, then the guest, emerged silently, doubly dark, from obscurity by a passage from the rere of the house into the penumbra of the garden?

The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit. (U 698)

I can just imagine a summer night like that—dark everywhere, maybe even your spirits, except for the sky. To translate “nightblue fruit” into a physical “there” (as Audrey Niffennegger would say), I drew constellations on paper and colored it with my “True Blue” colored pencil.

What do you think “humid nightblue fruit” hanging in the “heaventree of stars” looks like?

Made with paper, mod podge, eyepins, fine gunmetal chain, jump rings, and a lobster claw.

16 Days of Bloom: Day Two

“A Portrait of A Portrait

I love the yellowed pages of this 1961 edition of Ulysses. It has so much character. Out of scraps I had left over from a previous project I created a classic silhouette portrait of Joyce. What I love about this piece is its fragmentary construction—Joyce worked with such fragments in creating Ulysses after all.

There’s a bit of whimsy to my portrait because of the tiny cartoon thought bubble (in which Joyce thinks of a single word, Ulysses). My thought bubble would probably read “Ulysses!?!...).

Made with canvas, 1961 American edition of Ulysses, mod podge, and black pen.

14 more days till Bloomsday!

16 Days of Bloom: Day One

"Shadowbox Collage"

On day one of my challenge I find myself looking back to “Sirens”: “Done. / Begin!” (U 11.66-67). I am done and yet I have only just begun! My collage, which I made for today’s challenge, takes a bit of its color scheme from “Sirens” with its bronze and gold hues.

In the background of the shadowbox are pages from a 1961 American edition of Ulysses (you’ll be seeing more of this edition tomorrow!). I used a few flea market treasures to complete this collage—the stained (and well used!) letterpress letters, vintage scalloped chain, the innards of a pocket watch (the spring), and a gold keychain-fan of places in Ireland.

The keychain-fan is fascinating! It was manufactured in England (ironically) and features the touristic “gems” of Ireland on each piece of the fan: Athlone, The River, Killarney Lake, The Lake, and Dublin. Each includes an accompanying picture: Athlone, The River, Killarney Lake, and The Lake are all pastoral images, isolated and desolate, yet beautiful. Athlone is represented by a castle and bridge while The River, Killarney Lake, and The Lake are all represented majestically in the sunlight with no man-made structures. The picture of Dublin, on the other hand, is urban, populated, and modern. There is a line of buildings, street lamps, pedestrians, and buses. Each picture is colored with a spec of green paint. Sadly, I could not date this particular souvenir but I found the tiny portrait of a modern, urban Dublin to be fitting for a collage involving Joyce!

I also used part of a damaged James Joyce Quarterly journal (vol. 45.1 to be exact) to construct the butterflies and flower. Also, to mimic the shape of the fan I employed the cover art. The image is of Ken Fanning, “who played a flying James Joyce in The Parable of the Plums, a street play performed during the 2004 International James Joyce Symposium in Dublin” (JJQ, inside cover). The picture was taken by Phillip Massey. Other materials used are scrapbook leaves, tacs, nails, brass findings, and mode podge.

15 more days till Bloomsday!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Announcing the 16 Days of Bloom

Bloomsday is approaching and this year I really want to celebrate! I am attending my first Joyce conference (I am both excited and nervous!). And at the Elephant's Trunk Flea Market last weekend I finally found several odd (and old) pieces I needed.

To find out what these pieces are you'll have to check my blog. Without further ado, I'm announcing the "16 Days of Bloom"--a creative challenge I have set for myself to make one new Joyce inspired piece of art a day starting June 1st and ending on Bloomsday.

I'll confess I have already started playing around with my materials. Here is a preview of what's to come!