Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Moving Drawings

In the summer of 2015, while taking a break from creating bottle cap tapestries to focus on some dance and theater projects, I returned to a once daily habit of drawing, producing dozens of small artworks on paper filled with colorful abstract figures.

A photo posted by Emma Cotter (@rettocamme) on

After filling an entire sketchbook, I began experimenting with cutting similar drawings out and creating small hanging paper sculptures. I found these pieces could be drastically altered by lighting and therefore difficult to truly capture. Here is one of my first such creations, back lit by natural light on the left and front lit by artificial light on the right:

Next I began to explore motion possibilities in order to fully take advantage of changing light and shadow angles. I used combinations of wire, thread, and fishing line to suspend elements, balancing them with various found objects such as bottle caps and small tree branches. Being very light weight, they are gently put into motion by cross breezes or persons moving nearby, and can be more steadily controlled by a strategically placed fan. To date, I have completed about one dozen structurally diverse mobiles and find them as difficult to document as dance pieces. This short video montage is an attempt to convey how I personally experience them. Musical accompaniment courtesy of my collaborators at Loopstock (aka composers John Bollinger and Jordan McLean).

Click Here for additional stills and video clips on Flickr