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Womangirl

Exhibition  /  13 Jul 2007  -  07 Aug 2007
Published: 25.07.2007
Sienna Gallery
Management:
Sienna Patti
Melanie Bilenker. Ring: Hand, 2007. 18k gold, silver, resin, pigment, hair, smoky quartz. 1.9 X 2 X 2.4 cm. Melanie Bilenker
Ring: Hand, 2007
18k gold, silver, resin, pigment, hair, smoky quartz
1.9 X 2 X 2.4 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
(...) The drawings are almost impossibly delicate, the images tender and a bit melancholy. The jewelry is modest in scale, devoid of the aggressive ambition that declares that bigness equates with importance.(...)

Artist list

Melanie Bilenker, Barbara Nessim
Essay by Melanie Bilenker about her work 

Memories are uncertain. For many years, I had a vivid memory of being stung by bees. All of the details remained; I was about five years old, I had just picked a bunch of red clover, and I sat near a hive attached to a bench at the public tennis courts. Then a few years ago, I realized that no family member had ever mentioned this story. I asked my mother. It never happened. Was it a childhood dream, a story that I had made up?

The Victorians kept lockets of hair and miniature portraits painted with ground hair and pigment to secure the memory of a lost love. In much the same way, I secure my memories through photographic images rendered in lines of my own hair, the physical remnants.

When Roland Barthes writes about photography, he says, “the photograph does not call up the past. The effect it produces upon me is not to restore what has been abolished (by time, by distance) but to attest that what I see has indeed existed. I see not a memory . . . but reality in a past state: at once the past and the real.” Roland Barthes describes photography as evidence that “this-has-been”.

I take comfort in recreating what has been; and by making that evidence tangible, “what I see has indeed existed.” All everyday moments, as insignificant as they may seem, occur only once. I do not reproduce events, but quiet minutes, the mundane, the domestic, the private, the ordinary moments of human life.



Get Lost...Or Found!
Barbara Nessim


The process of finding one's own unique artistic path is crucial to the creative process. For me, releasing my creative potential is about relaxing my conscious thought process, paying attention to my peripheral vision, and taking action, especially when I am not sure of what I am doing. Taking action is the most important part of this equation. My muse is always with me, and I must trust and appreciate it. It is my pathfinder.

Finding the right medium in which to explore and express my ideas was key. After much trial and error, I discovered that I liked a certain 6-by-9-inch, 70-page sketchbook because it seemed the most natural and unobtrusive. A sketchbook is with me at all times, and I work in it at every available moment. It carries my unconscious thoughts, my dreams, and my observations. There are four rules for these books: I must start with the first page and continue, page after page, using one side only, without skipping around. A title page and an end page are necessary. It is not a writing journl; anything written must be part of the art. Most importantly, I am not allowed to tear out a page. If I do not like what I have done, it's too bad. Not editing myself keeps me honest.

These books have their own rhythm. I do about three a year and to date have completed 65 since 1974. They have become the holding library of my unconscious. Because of this enormous archive of imagery, I am never at a loss for ideas. The iconography and sequence of these images reveal to me my unconscious thought patterns. I love looking at these hundreds of drawings and even find interest in works that I've previously deemed ugly.

Working both digitally and in traditional media creates an interesting balance. Traditional methods afford me lightweight storage and the immediacy of pen and paper anywhere, anytime. I can then transfer a sketchbook idea to digital format by way of scanner or Wacom digitizing tablet. The result of my method has been to increase both my visual vocabulary and the variety of my final output. At any of my exhibitions, there could be works ranging from 3D stereo pair art to large wall paintings to Iris prints to interactive installations.

Regardless of whether I work digitally or traditionally, the foundation for all my creativity rests in trusting my inner voice. Many times, this voice does not make any sense to me in the moment, and because I trust it, I give up the safety net of control. Without that control, my work takes me down different paths, twisting at every turn. If it leads to a place that looks and feels foreign, I know I have ended up exactly where I should be.

Get Lost or Found
First published in Leonardo, Journal of the INternational Society for the Arts, Science and Technology, Vol 29, 1996 

Melanie Bilenker. Brooch: Garden, 2007. 18k gold, silver, ebony, resin, pigment, hair. 6.4 X 7.3 X 1 cm. Melanie Bilenker
Brooch: Garden, 2007
18k gold, silver, ebony, resin, pigment, hair
6.4 X 7.3 X 1 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Melanie Bilenker. Brooch: Lunch, 2007. 18k gold, silver, ebony, resin, pigment, hair. 5.6 X 6.4 X 1 cm. Melanie Bilenker
Brooch: Lunch, 2007
18k gold, silver, ebony, resin, pigment, hair
5.6 X 6.4 X 1 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Melanie Bilenker. Piece: Sunday Night, 2007. 18k gold, ebony, resin, pigment, hair. 3.2 X 3.2 X 0.9 cm. Melanie Bilenker
Piece: Sunday Night, 2007
18k gold, ebony, resin, pigment, hair
3.2 X 3.2 X 0.9 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Melanie Bilenker. Brooch: Telephone, 2007. 18k gold, silver, ebony, resin, pigment, hair. 6.7 X 5.5 X 1 cm. Melanie Bilenker
Brooch: Telephone, 2007
18k gold, silver, ebony, resin, pigment, hair
6.7 X 5.5 X 1 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Barbara Nessim.
Barbara Nessim

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Barbara Nessim.
Barbara Nessim

© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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