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“We need the rain, dear” – Guest Blogger Liz Cooper

April 20, 2011

Liz is a graduate of our Level 4 Diploma in Advanced Research for Design.  She talks below of her most recent piece.

Liz installs her piece in the gallery space at our Center.

This piece, named “We need the rain, dear” was arrived at directly from a study of water in the form of rain drops. We think of water as pure and clear. I remember my mother testing for acid rain in the water of Slough Pond in Brewster, Massachusetts, where she and my father lived. She tested the water during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and found high levels of acid in the water.  She and all of her family were gardeners. Both my mother and her mother would always say when it rained, “We need the rain dear.”

© Liz Cooper - A study inspired by rain

We need rain for the vegetables. We need rain for the flowers. We need rain for the birds and other critters. We need rain for us as the human body is 97% water. We need the rain to fill us with the wonder and gift of nature.  There is a need for beautiful clear, clean water, but there is also a beauty in the mud created by water and dirt, by water and grease, by water in antifreeze. And there is a beauty in corrosion, metal heated and etched with corrosive material.  Who said, “Truth is beauty and beauty, truth?” What else is truth?

I made this piece by having the brass shim cut into different-sized pieces. This proved difficult as I did not have the equipment to do the cutting cleanly, and shops that do this work are not geared to cutting the size of shim that I wanted to use. Finally I found a friend to do it.  Then I soaked the pieces in separate containers of bleach, cider vinegar, white vinegar and lemon juice. Then they all went into a bath of combinations of these liquids. I then dried them with cloth and heated them with a heat gun. That was the fun part, seeing all of the different colors emerge and blend together. Using the sewing machine with a #100 needle I made holes and then stitched each piece to the next with brass wire creating long strands. I left some lengths of wire floating in the air.

This detail of the work shows the play of shadows on the wall which changes dependent on the lighting conditions. Photograph by John Telford

The next “what if’s” are Paper? Fabrics? Coatings with wax? Experiments with translucents?

One Comment leave one →
  1. enid kulesh permalink
    April 20, 2011 9:44 pm

    These posts are a brilliant idea! I have so been enjoying them. Love what Liz Cooper has done with metals, but with so much rain this year, I would prefer to admire HER handiwork, and let the real stuff move to the side. Thanks everyone, for sharing your handiwork with the rest of the world.

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