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A Good Clean Feeling

I have been a dedicated Sweet Mint Orbit gum chewer for three years now. Besides my addiction to the flavor, I came to the realization I have been captivated by the gum box graphic designs when I unconsciously stopped throwing them away. I chew gum all day: after each meal to refresh the taste in my mouth, while working out to keep my mouth from getting dry, while anxiously studying, coolly relaxing, etc. I chew Sweet Mint to the extent that I became mindful not only of what was left over from each box but also of other trash I generate every day.  Ultimately, my daily dependence on the Sweet Mint, the underlying connotations of the Sweet Mint in my life and my heightened awareness of daily waste have been evoked by my investigation of the patterns’ form sensibility.

As a regimented, goal-driven person my organic exploration of the form of each design has surprised me.  Following my instinct to make rules and guidelines I have kept the integrity of each pattern. I explored the form of the patterns through drawing, projecting, scaling, cutting, lighting and weaving.  The work has exposed an ornate, delicate, timeless characteristic of the manufactured patterns—a fine art version of industrial packaging.  My obsession with the gum is revealed through my constant repetition and reiteration of the patterns, within my set guidelines.

In an attempt to move beyond the patterns themselves I created my own patterns from the shape of the box. Not working with the packaging patterns in this process reaffirmed my attraction towards them.  Returning again to the designs helped me identify my intent to reveal a quality that is more than the package and what is disposed of. This quality truly lies in the patterns. My pieces began to flip one space, the cover of the gum box, for another through pattern, line and plane.  A vibration between and freeing of the patterns created a more dynamic, three dimensional, new space.  This liberation of the designs from the fixed boundaries of the boxes reflects the quality of the eccentric, mosaic patterns that mesmerize and free me. Although the investigation of the patterns has remained very much that—an investigation of the patterns—the degree to which my tie to the Sweet Mint gum and box designs has not been unearthed keeps me chewing.

 

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Thank you to the studio art professors.

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