The Boli-Hojas Project is a transitional project marking a change between my pre-graduate-school work and the artwork I pursued in grad school. The project was an intuitive exercise that opened up my artistic process and showed me that I could experiment with a variety of media. Creating this project also helped me reflect on the themes that I pursued more intentionally in subsequent artworks.
Autumn colors inspired this series. St. Louis’ treetops glittered in the wind with deep yellows, warm oranges, vivid greens, and coral reds. I responded to this observed spectacle with an artistic representation. I created large orb-like structures by crumbling bulky wads of newspaper. I then covered these forms with painted and torn paper that resembled various leaves’ shapes and textures.
It was suggested that I take these sculptures outside to see how they would interact with the environment. Interestingly, in certain settings, the sculptures took on anthropomorphic qualities. Humorous situations were created when my representation of nature, the orb, interacted with different spaces depicting the natural realm. This could be seen, for example, in Untitled # 9, where my sculpture seems to contemplate its ancestors, two trees, in a painting at the St. Louis Art Museum. This painting, The Hudson at Piermont 1852, by American artist Jasper F. Cropsey, depicts a kind of idealized landscape that was common among the Hudson River School painters of the 19th century.
This project signals the beginning of several artistic interests that include, the representation of natural forms through artificial means, the potential for narrative, the anthropomorphization of nature, and finally, as demonstrated in certain photographs, a romanticist longing the natural realm.