Dig, spin, repeat.
These three words strung together sound simple, but in reality they describe months of hand-crafted work that eventually turned into sculptures and large-scale installations.
Fine arts graduate student Brittany Sievers’ thesis exhibition, “Dig, Spin, Repeat” will occupy the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s Firehouse Gallery until Feb. 24.
Hinting at minimalism, the exhibition is drawn from social psychologist Ellen Langer’s definition of mindfulness, or “the simple act of actively noticing.”
Each installation and sculpture is made from either local clay Sievers digs and processes or yarn from the wool she spins.
Sievers encourages studying the details of each sculpture and installation: the placement, materials and uniqueness that comes from craftsmanship.
Many awards adorn her résumé, including the prestigious International Sculpture Center award in 2015 for her sculpture “10,656 Palms.” The inspiration for the sculpture came while working at an artist’s residency at the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, which was geared toward food production and working with one’s hands, she said.
Artist-in-residence programs exist to offer artists a time and space away from their usual environment. They provide a time for reflection, research, presentation and production.
Sievers’s residency influenced her to dig and shape local clay. She later cut holes to hang each piece onto chicken wire like Christmas ornaments, she said.
The 12-foot sculpture’s ombre effect was created by under and overfiring the clay with a kiln. The whole process took half a semester.
A total of 423 students applied for the ISC award. It was then narrowed down to seven honorable mentions and 18 recipients, one being Sievers.
The ISC award allows students to receive publicity for their work through traveling shows and the option to apply for an artist’s residency. The sculpture was shown at the Mana Contemporary in Jersey City and in Chicago.
Through this award, Sievers was chosen, along with another student, for an artist’s residency in Switzerland where she will live and work with world-renowned sculptor Heinz Aeschlimann and his wife for six weeks during the spring.
The residency offers young artists a free workshop with living and traveling costs covered, as well as fully equipped studios and guest rooms.
To wrap up her semester at the University, the graduate student began working with a different material and placement, yarn from wool that hangs to occupy the whole room, for her thesis exhibition.
“Yarn has a lot of the properties that clay has that I was interested in,” Sievers said. “It’s nice to work with a different material and medium.”
The exhibition features a mixture of the two materials, and the details encourage the audience to heighten their exploration of their surroundings, she said.
A reception for “Dig, Spin, Repeat” will be held on Feb. 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Arts Council’s Firehouse Gallery downtown. The exhibition is free to observe until Feb. 24. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.