Alumni Art Exhibition 2021 - Debbie Carlson

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Mixed Media Textile Installation

綁 (bǎng)/Bound, 2014-2015
Mixed Media Installation
22 x 10 x 10 feet

Colorful Mixed Media Textile Installation

Common Thread, 2019
Mixed Media Installation
6 x 10 x 6 feet

Mixed Media Textile Sculpture

Recollection, 2020
Mixed Media Sculpture
13 x 24 x 8 inches

I accumulate objects, experiences, gestures, and tools then synthesize to create a space for contemplation.  The urge to gather identical or similar objects is a mechanism to find order in chaos, and the desire to create is a commitment that is obsessive and irrational.  It stems from faith to make change and transcend humanity.  It is not about fulfilling the materialistic human desires but the awakening of spirituality. My selection of materials reflects my personal history and signifies necessity, memory, and nostalgia.  Each item collected is a reminder of its place in my life and bears a resemblance to a diary entry.  The tactile nature of my process allows me to meditate and reflect on my daily encounters.  Through the repetition of gathering, stitching, binding, pulling, and crumbling, new connections start to unfold.  The interwoven network of lines starts to take up a new form that inhabits the space.  The accumulation of fragments and the uneventful transform into a cohesive and meaningful whole. The ability to adapt and transcend everyday experience has a significant impact on my artistic sensibility.  As I explore the transformative possibilities of simple materials and processes, I seek to forge new meanings without compromising the integrity of the things gathered.  Repurposing and transforming everyday objects and materials is a metaphor for redefining the purpose of life and magnifying the idea of wholeness as a constructed reality.

Debbie Carlson is an award-winning mixed-media installation artist and sculptor.  She has exhibited in Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego County and Arizona.  She has also been featured in art magazines and press such as The Woven Tale Press, Art and Cake, Artillery and OC Weekly.  Carlson collects castaway materials and found objects and redefines their characters through her work.  Her artistic sensibility stems from the notion of transformation, interconnection and adaptation.  Through the laborious yet simple processes such as gathering, binding, pulling, and stitching, she reveals the unforeseen interconnectivity between common materials and objects. Her work is adaptable and evokes infinite possibilities of association and interpretation for the viewer. Carlson is a first-generation Taiwanese immigrant.  She lives and works in Orange County, California.  Carlson received her MFA from California State University Long Beach in 3-D Media in 2014 and currently teaches beginning Jewelry/Metal Fabrication and 3-D Foundation Design at Pasadena City College.