Handmade Paper and Mixed-Media Installation by Julie McLaughlin
Kristin Wigley-Fleming Fine Arts Gallery, Center for the Arts
April 3 - May 21, 2006
There will be a Gallery Reception on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 at 4:00 p.m. All are welcome.
Julie McLaughlin received her B.A. in art with a minor in theatre costume design from the University of Northern Iowa. Her work has been exhibited in several venues, including ARC Gallery in Chicago, SOHO20 Gallery in New York, and a Mini Textile International Exhibition in the Ukraine, to name only a few. She has also conducted numerous workshops and residencies in papermaking, bookbinding, and costume design.
In the fall of 2003, Julie McLaughlin, Eric Lange, and Linda Grimm began a collaborative effort to bring a theatre experience to the public in a very non-traditional way. They transformed a play by Federico Garcia Lorca, “The House of Bernarda Alba,” into a stationary visual experience. Lorca’s work seemed particularly appropriate for the experiment because of the surrealistic nature of his writings. The three collaborators all have backgrounds in theatre – Eric in lighting design; Linda in costuming and dramaturgy; and Julie in costume design. The costumes and set for the installation are comprised mostly of handmade paper, with the characters represented by welded steel rod armatures. The installation must be adapted to fit each exhibition space. The original installation contained five scenes, but the current show is reduced from its original scale. At Luther College, the action starts in the Kristin-Wigley Fleming Gallery and continues through three other scenes on the second floor of the Center for the Arts.
"Years of creating costumes for the theatre have evolved into a more personal creative journey using handmade paper and my training as a printmaker. I combine highly beaten abaca and flax fibers, which have a high shrinkage rate as they dry, creating an unusual visual experience when stretched over steel rod corset armatures. I enjoy working with handmade paper in this way because of the initial feeling of assumed vulnerability on the part of the paper when paired with the rigid steel rod when, in fact, it is the steel rod that is placed in the vulnerable role as it is often reshaped as the paper dries and shrinks."