Paper on visiting artist lecture, Chris Irick
Feb. 23, 2012
When I first walked into the room I was very excited to hear another artists lecture after Mel Chin. But unfortunately it didn’t surprise me as much as Mel Chin’s but it was an ok lecture. I just think she could have made the lecture a little more interesting.
Chris was born in California and has moved at least twenty times through out her life. She has had many jobs including working at the Smithsonian and Wailing Museum in New Bedford, Dallas. Today she is a teacher but is still working hard in her sculpting.
Since she was sixteen she had been interested in two things, jewelry making, which is what she does now, and different cultures. These are the two places that she gets her artwork from. Other places she has pulled references are things like, turbines, planes, birds flight, submarines, dark creepy hallways, stair wells, and gutters. All of these things have influenced many of her pieces.
While her introduction was slow and a little boring her artwork was not. From the first piece she showed, to the last I was interested. The first thing she showed was a box shaped about four inches tall and wide. It was covered in train tracks and had an eerie feeling to it. All of her works had a lot of the same feel. They were very dark and put me into a world I didn’t know. Just the way that these tiny circular objects drew your eye back into the space was amazing.
Another interesting thing that she told us about were submarines and a scientific work called a Jirocter. The submarine she showed us was one of the first plans of how to attack on sea. A man would climb in and pedal to the enemy boat. He would then drill a hole into the boat and shove the bombs in and pedal away before the bombs went off. Irick then stated, “ That plan never worked.” She also showed us another invention done by the Germans. They found out that this device didn’t work either. It was called a Jirocter. It was ship like vessel that was suppose to carry one person. It started off in the water and if something bad happened it was suppose to be able to take off and fly with out any problems. Unfortunately, this invention was a failure as well.
Her pieces based off of these works were both necklaces, but the more unique of the two was the one that took the form of the Jirocter. It was a necklace made of silver and gold. It took on the form of the Jirocter when it wasn’t worn but when you picked it up it took one the form of a necklace that fit perfectly around you neck. It really stuck out to me the most out of most of her works. Not only because it was a unique piece, but it was based off of a unique invention.
Later on in Irick’s life she began looking more to birds and flight patterns. She made these two pieces based on the movements of birds. One piece she created the movements of birds known as starks. They were in huge clusters and moved in a way that they created these enormous forms. She wanted to show the movement of this in an artwork so she took it and created a broche. She also spliced it to where as the broche moved you saw a different image. She also used this technique in another piece about bird movement. The only difference was that she went from three thousand birds to one pigeon. She said that pigeons weren’t just rats with wings. They actually had some of the most beautiful and powerful flight pattern of all bird. Looking at her piece on that, I knew she was right.
Over all Chris Irick’s work was very inspiring. Although I am not a sculpture major, I can use a lot of the same research ideas she does. Most of her sketch books are filled with ideas and images she will be able to reference back to one day. And I need to get into the habit of that myself. She is a talented artist and a talented jewelry maker.