Today, let’s ponder a broad combination of themes from French artist, Ouedd. Here, lines of white dots play the part of contrast to densely gathered leaf forms with rich, graduated colors applied in a polymer embroidery-type manner. I also thought this might be called a type of mosaic, but do dense patterns of parts alone define a mosaic?
Merriam-Webster says mosaics are “a surface decoration made by inlaying small pieces of variously colored material to form pictures or patterns.” This would be a mosaic then, right? But, Google’s dictionary says, “A picture or design made from small pieces of colored tile, glass, or other material set in mortar.” Oh, well, it is not really set in a mortar. So, maybe it’s not mosaic.
I just think it is best to say it is a richly colored pendant whose erratic primary texture has been thoughtfully broken up by orderly white lines.
Of course, it really doesn’t matter what the type of work here is called. When we label something it is, in our mind and in the mind of anyone that ascribes to that application of the label, limited by that label. Take “polymer artist” as an example. If you consider yourself a polymer artist, do you forever limit your creative endeavors to polymer work only?
I do very much appreciate that we need labels in order to help us organize, in our minds, all the information that comes to us and all the people we meet, but it just seems like we could move beyond them with individuals we know, especially ourselves and, as an extension, the work we do. For instance, do you realize that, usually, when someone we just met asks “What you do?”, we usually say “I am …” tacking on the label that our work or career gives us. That is not what we ‘do’; that is what we ‘are’, or more precisely, what we label ourselves as. You could say “I’m a polymer artist”, but is that all you are? Maybe you could say, “I create polymer art … among other things.” Then you are this vast, complex, person of endless possibilities and action. Doesn’t that sound like a truer way of presenting ourselves? And without the label you are free to create whatever you like with whatever you like without worrying that you are falling outside of some boundaries.
I bring this up because I’ve had two conversations recently with people apologizing for not fitting a label they think the rest of the world may have put them under. My thoughts … it doesn’t matter. Do what you need to do and throw the labels out.
To see an example of art that shows off the endless possibilities of polymer and of artists who play with the medium, take a peek at Oeudd’s Flickr pages and her interesting array of work. Then there is Ouedd’s blog that is fun and a bit silly, especially if you don’t speak French and use the Google translator.