studio tour: dance in the body you have

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while.  Last summer I promised myself that I was going to try to use my words more.  One of the ways I was going to practice that was to photograph things around the studio, and then write about them.  So here goes.


This piece is one of the first things I made after I moved into this studio, almost six years ago.  She is called “dance in the body you have,” and she sits near the door of the studio.

Next to her, on the floor, is the white noise machine I bought to muffle noises from the hallway and my neighbor’s office.  I had my hearing tested eight years ago, just before I had surgery to remove a tumor from my left ear.  They told me I had the hearing of a six-year-old boy.  They tested it again after the surgery.  It remained freakishly good.

The tumor was benign and slow-growing, but would have destroyed my ear if it had been left there.  Or so they told me.  As tumor-having experiences go, it was not too bad.  If you must have a tumor, I recommend a small glomus tympanicum.

After the surgery, I lost 50 pounds.  They had been concerned about my blood pressure during the surgery, and my primary care physician (who is a little high-strung) actually wrung her hands at me and begged me to lose 5 or 10 pounds.  I have mostly kept the 50 pounds off.  My strategy is pretty simple: I eat a lot of vegetables and refuse to buy larger pants.  In your face, Doctor!  I still have to take medication to keep my blood pressure down, though.  I suspect that would be true even if I lost another 50 pounds.

The form I used to make this sculpture was a duct tape dressmaking form, covered in plaster, made from my own body while I was in the middle of losing the 50 pounds.  I had intended to make the sculpture pear-shaped, but she ended up looking more like a butternut squash.  And that’s okay.

She has left the studio twice: for the 2009 Summer Juried Exhibition at the AVA Gallery, and for a 2013 show called Down to the Wire at the Attleboro Arts Museum.

I bought that table at Sclafani’s in Claremont (which, sadly, closed last year), and painted it with BIN primer.  The sculpture went to the AVA Gallery without the table, and I was sorry.  She will never travel without it again.

Here’s a bonus pic of her in Attleboro, with her table, waiting to be installed for the show:


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