Roll With It

March 27, 2020 | By Steph Hargrove

Roll With It

I was all set to start attaching 2,511 painted seashells to fishing line for my installation at Creative Pinellas, and then coronavirus came along and changed everyone’s plans. A crowded art opening on May 14th in the gallery? Yeah, probably not happening. Fortunately, the team at Creative Pinellas is amazing and they’ve got new plans. We’re gonna have a virtual art opening.

Technology is keeping us connected while we shelter at home, so why shouldn’t it connect us with new art? Just one small issue… my installation is designed to experience physically. In person. In the gallery. What to do? After throwing around a few ideas, I’ve decided to go with a side project that still highlights the installation materials, but in a different way. A way that allows everyone to view it from the safety and comfort of their own couch.

My new focus is on a photography series using the 2,511 painted shells as subjects. There are so many patterns and textures to be had when playing with a giant pile of seashells, some natural light, and a camera. Mockups have begun and the seashell bins that keep the 13 different colors of shells organized have taken over my studio space. And a little bit of the dining room.

I’m super excited about this little creative detour. I depend on photography to capture my large scale pieces installed, so it’s a natural step to expand into visually playing with the materials in new and different ways before they become attached to a gallery wall. Or ceiling. Or floor.

Fortunately, I happen to be married to my photographer, so coronavirus won’t stand in my way of getting this side project underway. The official outdoor photo shoot will start this weekend when my husband Jason is available to help with building sets and taking photos. Until then, I have a few sneak peeks to share with you. These are mockups shot indoors with my iPhone:

Until next time, stay safe, stay home, and #flattenthecurve. 🙂

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