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Cactus Gallery LA

FIND ME by artist Jen Raven

$ 1,400.00

Mixed-media free-standing sculpture 9.5”h x 9.5”w x 5.5”d 

A free-standing mixed-media sculpture including rogue taxidermy, an art doll sculpture, and a functional clock, which opens up to reveal a hidden miniature library of seventy tiny books.

About the piece:  “Find Me” is my first work using the rogue taxidermy techniques I’ve been practicing over the last several years.  The wings are built partly from the found remains of a bird (which had been killed by a neighborhood cat) and partly from a combination of paper feathers, which I built by hand, and various craft feathers, gifted to me from a fellow artist’s stash.  This project also gave me the opportunity to return to other genres I’ve enjoyed over the years, including art doll figurative sculpture, woodworking, and miniatures.  Each of the elements in this work includes materials which have been upcycled from previous creative adventures –scraps of fabrics, leftover beads, remainders of basswood and balsa, and more. 

The paper feathers, and the pages in each of the miniature books, have been crafted using pages taken from my childhood copy of “Matilda” by Roald Dahl.  The binding on this nearly thirty year old book was just about gone and the pages were coming free.  I wanted to honor my book by making art from its remains, as I had done with the found remains of the bird.  The tiny books on the left side of the miniature library are removable if you wish to gently rearrange them.  All elements on the right side of the library are permanently affixed in place.

The costume on the art doll element in this sculpture is made of upcycled materials; the fabrics, threads, flosses, paints, inks, and even the fixatives used are all remainders from previous projects.  Her keys and the decorations in her hair are also left-overs from previously created works.  The single new element of her costume is a decorative bee-shaped bead on her waist cincher, which is 22k gold-plated pewter.  

The body of the clock in this sculpture is also built entirely from upcycled scraps; the face is new, functional, and held in place with a magnet.  Gently slide the curved edge of a credit card behind the clock face where it protrudes slightly, underneath, and it will pop right out, so that you may adjust the hands, or replace the batteries.  Be careful to catch it on a soft surface, in order to protect the crystal face.  

Upcycled and repurposed materials in this work include:  Vintage paperback book pages, found bird remains, found and craft feathers, leftover and recovered beads, embroidery floss, threads, collected scraps of various fabrics, leftover metal findings and recovered miniature screws, chipboard and cardstock scraps, various gauges of recovered wire, foam core remainder, balsa and basswood remainders, paperclay remainder. 

The art doll sculpture is built of wire and apoxy, with a paperclay overlay and acrylic finishes.

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