June 26, 2014
Liz Shepherd is a sculptor and printmaker originally from NYC. Her sculpture has been exhibited widely in New England. She has had three solo exhibitions at the Boston Sculpture Gallery. In 2013 she had a solo exhibition at the Trustman Gallery at Simmons College. Her prints are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Edinburgh (Scotland) College of Art, Syracuse University, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston Public Library and numerous corporate and private collections. She received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where she’s lived since 1981 and owns Shepherd Print Studio.
Consenses Interview with Sally Taylor:
The name of your work: Ferris Wheel
Dimensions: (Height, length, width & weight) 34” x 30” x 7”
Weight: approx. 2lbs
Price: Wholesale $1500
What made you want to participate in this project?
It’s sometimes useful to work on a project that requires responding to a creative challenge. It can lead to a new direction in the work.
Without going back to the art I sent you what do you remember about it?
Grace and movement: a strong center and liquid grace
What was your first reaction to the art? (thoughts, emotions, memories, tastes, smells etc?)
At first I was confused by a silent dance but then I found that aspect very interesting. Music can tell one how to feel, mood, etc. Without the music I was able to work more freely.
If you had to choose one word to sum up the art I sent what would it be?
What emotion did it elicit?
What was the art about in your mind? (Did it tell a story? Paint a picture? Etc.)
I did not get the sense of a narrative.
Take me through each step of your process from getting the art to the creation of your work.
The timing and size specifications of the project dictated the result. This is hardly unusual or problematic. So, the process is about what can be made quickly and rather simply. (Normally, it would take months to conceive of and produce a new piece of sculpture.)
a. Research, in this case looking at photos of Ferris wheels.
b. I made a cardboard model to test the scale and fabrication details.
c. Choosing and purchasing raw materials is time consuming, there are lots of decisions to be made.
d. I silkscreened and then cut the wood into the pieces I needed.
e. Assembly of the finished piece.
f. Photo documentation
What did you title your work and why?
Ferris Wheel. I tend to keep titles simple and descriptive. A title like “dance” or something similar tells too much and is too cute. For me, titles simply help me to identify the piece in the future.
What part of your work came to you first?
The idea and the research come first.
How do you normally create? How was this experience different?
This is not very different than my usual working method.
What techniques/tools did you use to help you express you’re interpretation?
Silkscreen, power tools to cut the wood, found objects (the figure and seats).
Are there certain choices you made which mean something specific to you that the observer might not know?
The silkscreened image on the wheel is birds in flight (the female dancer). The structure holding the wheel is printed with an image of a forest (represents the strength of the male dancer.
Extra credit: Did you enjoy this project? More you want to say about your experience?
Making the wheel so that it would move was important to me but difficult to execute. I always love screen printing, so that was the enjoyable part. Finishing the piece off with the addition of the figure, the lady in a red dress, entailed going to a model train store and finding just the right figure, that was a lot of fun.