Lunch with Claudia

I’ve been quite lax in my determination to take back my lunch hour so decided that I’d take some me-time today because the stress of the world has been getting to me and I needed the respite. So I had lunch with Claudia Fitch at the WSU Museum of Art. (OK, I ate lunch then went to the museum because you can’t take food in. And not so much ‘with’ Claudia as with her art work.)

Fitch is a multi-media artist who creates sculptures from, essentially, rubbish. I generally like this sort of work, but I have to admit that I wasn’t overly taken by this exhibit. Now, this isn’t to say that she’s not a good artist—it’s just that most of her work wasn’t to my liking. Or maybe it was that I didn’t like seeing so much in one place because I think I’d have enjoyed seeing one piece tucked away somewhere in someone’s home. And I certainly enjoy many of her public art pieces.

However, there were three displays that piqued my interest today.

The first to catch my eye was ‘Backdrop (granite)’. Essentially, it’s three large chunks of brown butcher paper pieced together with a life-sized(ish) gray and white painting of a human(ish) form. I smiled when I saw it because it reminded me of when I was a young girl in Camp Fire and we did life-sized drawings/tracings of ourselves on butcher paper. (I wonder if Mom still has ‘me’ rolled up in a corner somewhere…)

The next one that caught me was ‘Floating Mechanism (nightshade)’. It just seemed as if it belonged on the set of a science fiction movie. One where an evil madman had created an army of evil robots (in this case, female breast looking robots) which were standing in ridged formation waiting for their activation orders.

Finally, I was bemused and amused with an untitled installation that consisted of several pieces ranging in size. It was created with re-bar and other metal bits and had glass and fiberglass globes and bobbles here and there. I didn’t care for the display with everything lumped together like that. But it’s just the sort of whimsy I’d have loved to see interspersed throughout a botanic garden or something.

So, would I recommend checking out the exhibit? Absolutely! You never know what you’ll like until you see it. And if you’re not around to see it, maybe you should check out the museums in your neck of the woods. It’s a great way to spend a rainy day and you might just find a new favourite artist!

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