Alyson Shotz is a well-known contemporary artist based in Brooklyn. She is called “poet of space” for creating large-scale and very delicate pieces from various types of material. Her installations, such as the Scattering Screen at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville (in the image above), play with light and reflection. On 13 December, students on The Artist’s Studio course in New York will visit Alyson to see her creative process.
Could you give us a sneak peek to what are you currently working on?
There are always multiple projects happening in the studio at once, such as making work for exhibitions or public and private art commissions. Right now I'm working on a multidisciplinary piece for Grace Farms Foundation that incorporates music, video and dance. However, my main focus remains on my upcoming show at Derek Eller Gallery in NYC, which will open in April of 2020. There will be sculptural works in a chain mail material I've been developing over the past four years and also some sculptural "paintings" made with recycled rubber inner tubes and copper nails.
What will students coming to your studio learn about your practice?
They will see work in process and maybe understand how ideas flow from one project to another in the studio.
If I look at your Scattering Screen installation, I wonder, how long does it take from the initial idea to the final stage?
I made some renderings of the idea already in 2004, but could not find out what materials to use to make it feasible outdoors. In 2015 and 2016, I had an opportunity to have the work funded through the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio in Texas and that was the impetus to figure it all out. From there it was a few months of trial and error working out the correct scale of the parts, method of producing them, size and placement of holes and weight of the stainless steel wire to use to knit it together. Once I had all that, fabrication took about ten months. There is a lot of hand labour in that piece. A part of that was to solve how to install the artwork outdoors without securing it to any trees or having a massive framework. One could say the process took about a year or really twelve years from idea to completion.
What is your source of inspiration?
Life, nature, physics and stuff I see on the street. It can be anything.
For more information about The Artist’s Studio course in New York, please visit Christie's Education website.