Meet Current Artist-in-Residence William Vannerson

In Uncategorized on October 1, 2012 at 10:40 pm

William Vannerson is another new artist-in-residence at ART342… see what his work is about:

What is your medium?

My medium is primarily sheet metal–a good 95% of my output is steel 1.5mm or thinner. Metal work is such a rich medium that I never get bored with it. In fact, sometimes I delve into the technical aspects to the point of distraction. My own practice is fairly straight-forward though. I cut panels of out of flat stock, over half of which is scrap, then hammer and shape these as I see fit. Next, I weld these panels together at the edges to compose new volumes.

What are the main concepts your work deals with?
I cringe at the word “concept” because, in this context, it reminds me of “conceptual art.” I pay attention to art because I want to *see* something new and great; if I’m not visually arrested, I’m out the door. That said, my work bears many formal quotes from some of my favorite things to encounter out in the real world such as agricultural and power-generating machinery, HVAC, produce, invertebrates, ethnographic sculpture, functional-yet-decorative architecture. Thematically, the work most consistently suggests a disconnect between humans in a post-industrial, consumer society and the infrastructure around them.
What does a typical day in the studio look like?
I usually arrive at the studio between 9 and 10 in the morning unless I have to cook a pot of beans and rice for the next couple of days. I try to arrange my practice so that I leave the night before right in the middle of some minor breakthrough or at least at a clearly defined next step. I find that it’s easy to lose whole hours in the morning if you have to putter around looking for something to do. There are three workstations set up in my studio at the moment: a cutting table and arc welding station for larger pieces, a cardboard model-making area where I have a hot glue and scissors at the ready in case I need a quick design solution, and a small “pulpit” for torch welding where I put together my miniature sculptures. People ask me if these are maquettes for the real sculpture and I have to say “These are the real sculptures; they’re just small.”
I bring my lunch with me and take a couple or three coffee breaks during the day. If I get stuck on one piece, I’ll move to a different station to see if anything new suggests itself since the last time I visited whatever’s on the workbench. If nothing else, there are always parts I could be manufacturing. I keep a stockpile of patterns, so I might select a shape or two and spend the next couple hours cranking out these shapes while my mind wanders to possible solutions for the current impasse.
What do you anticipate working on while at ART342?
My work at Art342 is off and running, though a bit lacking in focus. I suppose I’m still getting over the embarrassment of riches of having all this time to create and having all my gear in one place after spending the last 5 months overseas with whatever I could fit in a small tool bag. I have a few bodies of work that I want to revisit, at least to begin with. It’s a sad thing to repeat oneself, but I think there is plenty of room for new things within the frameworks of these previously established suites of sculpture. I’m also kicking around the idea of combining a conceptual thread or two from my time overseas with some of my existing inquiries to arrive at a new series. I keep talking about “bodies of work” and “series.” It’s just how I prefer to visual my output. There’s a taxonomic visual logic to it that appeals to me.

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