TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Friday, April 4, 2008

Guest Artist: Colleen Downs of LoopyBoopy

When I invited Colleen to write about her work for Fiber Focus, she pointed out that she doesn't really work with fiber. I have seen her around the Etsy forum and find her creepy dolls haunting, funny and original. Now that I know a bit of her story, I'm happy to have her here. Yes, the focus is fiber, but I get to take a detour now and then if it's a story worth sharing. Besides, I think her process of moving from papier mache and paper pulp to polymer clay does fit in (if you push it a bit, heh, heh...). Welcome, Colleen!

People are my favorite subjects. When I first began sculpting as a young woman, I worked solely in papier mache. You know, like in grade school with the strips of paper and that messy goop layered on an armature. I considered myself a feminist and the female form was my favorite subject. I created big fat, bold naked women, women dancing, mostly women expressing themselves in their own beautiful way. I love to distort the body, big noses, giant butts. My aim was to accentuate flaws to express what really makes each of us unique and beautiful.

It's funny how life changes though... I'm not exactly sure why my subject matter changed but it has in a drastic way. Gone are the big beautiful confident women and now these small anxiety ridden, worried dead kids come out. Could it be marriage, a mortgage and motherhood? Perhaps. In 2004 we lost our home in Hurricane Katrina. We lost everything we owned plus a fairly large body of my artwork. It took about a year before our life returned to any kind of normalcy. I'm quite sure this had a bearing on my expressive outlet. I think the experience taught me not to take life so seriously and to appreciate what's really important.

My 8 year old daughter is a constant source of inspiration. I find myself telling her things that all moms say: 'Don't go in the water until a half hour after you eat', 'Don't jump on the bed'. 'Why mom?' her expression showing puzzlement. Exactly. 'Why?' is what I ask myself and have to giggle.

So now my little kids, my dolls that is- well, they just die from breaking these silly little rules we have. Oh, I suppose there is some reasoning behind most of them, but I don't think death is in store for those breaking the rules a little bit and if it's in the name of fun, you just have to weigh out the consequences and go for it! Don't worry! My daughter is not running with scissors or things of that nature. I realize you have to draw the line sometimes.

My name is Colleen Downs, I live in the magical city of New Orleans. I am a self taught sculptor and have been working in the craft for about 20 years. Currently I am selling my work on Etsy you can contact me there: www.loopyboopy.etsy.com I hope to open my own website in the near future.


No comments:

Post a Comment

“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth.”

“Whatever you say, say it with conviction.”

(Both by the master, Mark Twain)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts with Thumbnails