June 24, 2014

Photo Credit:

Janie Howland

Location: Boston, Massachusetts


Artist’s Work:

Janie Howland


Boston, Massachusetts


Spacial Design

I am a professional scenic designer based in Boston. I received my MFA from Brandeis University in scenic design and designed close to 200 shows since then. I design at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Speakeasy Stage Company, New Rep Theatre, Emerson Majestic, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Children’s Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, American Stage Festival, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory of Music, Barter Theatre (VA), Opera Boston, Boston Midsummer Opera, Huntington Theatre Studio 210, ART Institute, Nora Theatre, Central Square Theatre, Reagle Players, Weston Playhouse (VT), North Shore Music Theater.

Consenses Interview with Sally Taylor:

What made you want to participate in this project?
I am fascinated with Sally’s idea of encouraging viewers to experience the world through all senses and the idea of “art telephone” is fantastic. Responding to the art of others and creating your own based on how you are affected by it is what I do.

Without going back to the art on the chain you what do you remember about it?
Everything. it leaves me feeling “haunted” which is how I took off on my journey.

What was your first reaction to the collaborative chain? (thoughts, emotions, memories, tastes, smells etc?)
At first I reacted to each piece individually and slightly differently, but when I sat back after experiencing the whole chain I felt Haunted and a little sad, but that something organic was also growing.

If you had to choose one word to sum up the chain what would it be?

Did the chain tell a story?
Yes, i found one of lovers and people not quite connecting.

Take me through each step of your process from getting the chain to the creation of your space.
I watched the iMovie (many times) of the chain to get an overall feeling and understand how it went from one artist to another. I sat and let my reactions settle. Then I wrote down the words that described the feelings I was having. I did some image searching of materials and other art and photography that supported the feelings I was having, landing on driftwood covered in wrinkled fabric. I was also reminded of a metal sculpture of a full size tree I saw in Washington DC at the Hirschorn sculpture garden.  I spent a lot of time thinking about the chain and how i felt about it before putting pencil to paper. I drew some loose thumbnails.
When I had a larger chunk of time I printed an image of each piece of art and text and taped them all in order on my desk. I looked at them while I drank the tea and listened to the music in a repeating loop while also watching the dance. With all the links of the chain surrounding me I sketched ideas and started to build a model piece. I also drafted a SketchUp and Photoshop drawing on my environment to layout the artwork.

What did you title your work and why?
I did not, besides chain #13, typically an unlucky and charged number which I feel fits this chain.

What part of your design came to you first?

How do you normally create? How was this experience different?
This was a similar process I use to design scenery for a theatrical production.

What techniques/tools did you use to help you express you’re interpretation?
Pencil/pen on Paper, SketchUp and Photoshop, model building with foam core, modeling paste, paint and various papers.

Are there certain choices you made which mean something specific to you that the observer might not know?
I want the walls to have a certain amount of translucency to them to see other observers walking behind it, and I want the observer to be able to see in to other spaces at the same time as seeing this chain to show that there is a bigger world to experience.

Extra credit: Did you enjoy this project? More you want to say about your experience?
I have enjoyed it immensely. It has been very very energizing. at first I was terrified and exhilarated, as I got in to it I became more excited and less terrified and my confidence built in my own ideas. I am honored to be part of this overall exhibition.

Artist’s Featured Work for Sale

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