Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Margaret Craig: The Glistening

Posted on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 4:00 AM

Release Date: 2009-07-22

In Craig's latest body of work, the process is the point. The show includes two types of objects, created through methods pioneered by the artist. Some pieces are made out of Styrofoam forms covered in plaster. Layers of acrylic and dried epoxy are applied, then sanded down. Peepholes appear in the surface, revealing glimpses into what lies beneath. Solidified pools of resin achieve the effect of amber, trapping objects and preserving them eternally.

The majority of works in the show demonstrate a unique printmaking technique that Craig developed. She creates copperplate etchings, over which she pours an acrylic medium. The result is a flexible print. Craig attaches these miniature prints to large sheets of vacuum-formed plastic, which she molds into various shapes. She then covers them with colored epoxy resin, paint and ink, for a range of intriguing effects.

Some objects are functional, like "Sconce," in which a sheet of plastic created in this style acts as a shade for a Victorian light fixture. The form throws mysterious shadows across the wall upon which it hangs.

Plants, insects, fish, and myriad other organic elements have visibly impacted Craig's designs. A hint of orchid petal here, a leaf or frond there — the abstract works incorporate identifiable bits of imagery. Having majored in biology, Craig is interested in the natural processes of growth and erosion.

Craig's processes are complex and time-consuming, and while they require patience, they do not demand perfection. Experimentation often results in irregularities, and the unexpected results bring delight to both maker and beholder.

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