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Ortler Mountain Range: Paper, Pigment, and Glacier Research

Faculty Mentor: Elizabeth Mackie

Students: Bryan Borut & Allison Tumminia

Elizabeth Mackie and her student collaborators, Art Education majors Bryan Borut and Allison Tumminia, concentrated on three projects throughout the duration of MUSE. Initially, they completed Ortler Mountain Range, a large-scale paper and light-based installation began and brought near completion during MUSE 2011. Afterwards, they began work on two distinct projects: a site-specific installation project to be featured at Globe Dye Works of Philadelphia, and pigment formula research for improving papermaking methodology.

Ortler Mountain Range is an installation consisting of eighteen sheets of 4’x7’ handmade paper, twelve of which were finished during MUSE 2011. The group completed the project by designing and cutting complex patterns into the final six paper sheets.

This summer’s main paper-based project focused on pigmenting pulp for handmade paper. Specifically, the goals were to create a more effective pigment formula to result in the desired color of red, improve predictability of pigmentation, and to increase accuracy of color across multiple batches of pulp.

The group spent three days in Rosendale, NY, at Women’s Studio Workshop, an art organization that provides facilities and opportunities for arts to pursue creative project. There, the goals were to beat pulp, experiment with pigmentation, and learn how to make sheets of paper with a mold and deckle. Upon returning, the group worked on improving papermaking methods for large-scale white and red paper. Sixteen sheets of white paper and eighteen sheets of red paper were produced for a sculpture.

Simultaneously, the group prepared for “Catagenesis”, an exhibition of site-specific installations at Globe Dye Works, a former manufacturing facility in the Frankford section of Philadelphia that bleached and dyed textiles from 1865-2005. Components of the installation include a 13’ wedding dress that serves as a projection screen for a video loop of farm animals, illustrating the Globe custom of sending off a bride with “prize” animals to accompany her to her new home. The installation also features a flowing veil that fills the floor of the space, and a sound work mixing wedding reception sounds with a cappella recordings of period wedding songs. Over the course of the summer, both the dress and veil were brought to completion.

Globe Wedding will be shown as part of “Catagenesis” starting in early September and continuing through October 2012.