artPOP: Necklace in Purple
Melis Agabigum (BFA 2013)
I explore materiality and the physical or emotional connections that occur between body and object, while addressing themes of loss, gaslighting, abuse, and burden. I view my work as intimate installations that traverse the line between jewelry and sculpture, where the objects act as physical manifestations of these burdens. The use of crochet and beauty blenders in this body of work enhances the themes of facade and an endless cycle of repetition and systematic ritual. Carrying burdens become a responsibility, and in a similar manner, the making of these forms becomes onus for me. The experience of repeating an action like crocheting, flows and ebbs from my responsibility to and for the objects. The pieces, as they take on their physical forms, become physical representations of the effort and time consuming investment of relationships. Relationships which require you to put on a face that everything is happy, when sometimes it is not (especially in abusive relationships). The crocheted pieces resemble woven traps that pull you in without a form of visible escape. The time consuming nature of crocheting these sculptures parallel my personal investment in people, specifically relationships (that have ultimately failed), while experiencing self doubt, the feeling of entrapment, and disorientation regarding my own thoughts and feelings. Ambiguous, skeletal-like vessels develop from the subconscious motions that my hands enact. The act of making becomes a ritual of give and take; resulting in a materialization of my emotional investments in fixating, obsessing, and working through a problem.
This work is featured as part of Future Former: An Exhibition of Alumni Work. This exhibition honors the creative work and careers of all Stamps School alumni, creates an aspirational connection between generations of U-M artists and designers and current Stamps students, and inspires reflection during the university's Bicentennial year.