Ideas behind “Cast Shadows”:

1. The process of casting iron is a fleeting event that leaves residue in different ways. Works submitted address this phenomenon in various way.
2. Artists who utilize cast iron produce “permanent” products in iron not only as work unto itself, but also as document to the event.

3. Iron casting process is connected to a long history of metal art, industry, and human history. Cast iron artworks are in a sense living in the shadows cast by this rich past. As well, contemporary artists are casting their own shadows onto those around and into the future.

4. There is a digital relationship between the curators from Illinois and North Carolina. There is a line like a cast shadow from a sundial that goes back and forth between Denton and Akagawa, two gnomon.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Alice Steffen

Cast iron, 6” x 6” x 4”

Sitting on the train to go from London Kings Cross Station to Glasgow Central, I happened to sit next to a young Scottish man, named Mathew. He was fiddling with pieces of paper and I asked him what he was doing. He told me he was Scotland’s origami champion. He was practicing the art for a tournament he had in a few weeks. Matthew taught me his skill. During the 5-hour journey, I was able to master the paper Rose.

The Emblem of the Rose is very important to my heritage. The civil war of the United Kingdom, known as the War of the Roses (1455-1485), is how England won the right to the throne. This is how the English Hierarchy came to dictate and cast a shadow on the rest of the U.K. The rose is also thought to represent the artist in the Scottish architecture such as in “the Mackintosh” building at the Glasgow School of Art.  Artists and art students are considered precious and inspiring just like a rose. Casting the origami rose into iron makes it everlasting, made out of a memory that easily could be forgotten.  The shape of the paper is still to be seen, but its fragility has been taken away.

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