…minutes and motions and decisions and time and people


Artist talk with 

Lisa Barthelson


Denise Driscoll

May 11, 2013

Lisa Barthelson


Denise Driscoll

 talked about their fascination with consumables and found materials and the notion of piecework - defined by Lisa as 

repetitive motion, small pieces, traditionally woman’s work.

Much of the work by both artists in this show; Lisa’s Family Debris series, Denise’s paintings and installation pieces, are incredibly labor-intensive.


Denise Driscoll


, detail, Denise Driscoll

Denise takes (wo)man-hours into account. How long does it take to do something? … She estimates that for her installation piece “


each 6 in. took her 8 hours to produce.

 For the series of paintings which take DNA sequencing as their, basis, she paints

about 1000 dots/hour.

She finds that ‘piecework’ can be meditative and focused, or the hands can work and the mind can go elsewhere. Anne West’s book

Mapping the intelligence of Artistic Work



has been a profound influence for her.

Lisa pays particular attention to the sorting that takes place-a meditative way to connect things to other things, and make creative choices as to what the parameters are.

Take Over-Over Take

, Lisa Barthelson

Take Over-Over Take

, detail.,

 Lisa Barthelson

For her piece, Take Over-Over Take, from her family debris series, she used

77 armature wires, each 17 in. long

, attached by a cork to the back, and made decisions as she went along. When a visitor referred to the piece as ‘Seussian’, Lisa found that it was an apt description- a whimsical re-use of the pieces; she found the result to be very satisfying.

Denise also spoke about her piece ‘

Mandala for Marriage Equality


Mandala for Marriage Equality

, 1-49, Denise Driscoll

Mandala for Marriage Equality

, no.1,

Denise Driscoll.

Created as she and her husband Tom celebrated their 25th anniversary, she thought of “the years, months, weeks, days, minutes and moments together, both past and future. With the blessings and goodwill of our family, friends and community, we’ve accomplished together what neither would have been able to do alone. Together, we wish the right to marry for all couples who are willing to embark on this challenging journey of discovery, collaboration, and love.” Denise estimates the mandala contains


many dots as there are minutes in 25 years.

The Mandala, made up of 49 separate paintings cut from one piece, which will only be seen together during this exhibit; it is specifically designed with lots of pieces so that it comes apart and goes out into the world, and its pieces disperse.

Moving forward, Lisa sees her work in this show as two distinct bodies of work- the

Family debris series, the organization of chaos, and site-specific work, the

Slinkies, and deer fence installations.Lisa sees this newer body of work as a response to permanence and consumption; she likes the way these Site-specific pieces are composed of  units that can be re-configured in response to site, and are more minimalist in their construction and use of materials.

As is the case in of the individual pieces in


, and in the exhibit itself, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Last chance to see the show, and the Mandala before it disperses, is this weekend- the show ends May 19