Dwyer Kilcollin was born in Chicago and currently lives and works in L.A. She is an MFA candidate at the USC Roski School of Fine Art, where her thesis exhibition will open April 26th.
What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? My work isn’t grounded in a specific set of materials, although it is grounded in a materials and methods kind of mentality. Right now I’m working in pigmented plaster- I’m creating these composite structures made up of different volumes of colored plaster, all cast together into a single solid piece. Then I carve into the composite piece, revealing new forms that offer some conflict with the colored substrate. I’ve also been working on a collation of virtual relief sculptures made for the iPhone. In these works I’ve used a computer software, Maya, to create the initial forms. I have a collaborator, Andreas Kratky, and who I’ve been working with to develop the forms for iPhone.
How has your work developed within the past year? I guess my work has really pushed its way into material and color in the past year. A year ago my studio was ascetically clean.. and, totally devoid of color. Most of my works were virtual at that point in time- I’d recently completed The Reveal and 10 Forms. Since then I’ve launched into this really visceral investigation of material which is all about carving and grasping with matter in a more physical way. And the color. My studio now is filled with shards of colored plaster dust, tools.. and all of these sculptures. Which are large, heavy, and saturated.
How did your interest in art begin? I’m not sure if my interest in art began so much as it has simply always been a part of my involvement with the world. But I suppose I could cite my interest as having begun as an infant … you know the stage that all babies go through where they want to put everything in their mouths in order to understand what they are? It’s a kind of formal investigation of shape that they conduct in this really intuitive way. At this stage in development babies haven’t acquired language yet, so this sensory/material exploration is their primary mode of acquiring information.. and it seems to actually give them a greater understanding of the world at large. I imagine my interest in art might have begun like that.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? My thesis show at USC!
How has living in LA affected your art practice? I think living winter-free is probably the one thing that’s affected my practice the most. When I lived in colder climates this feeling of dread would inevitably enter my life in late fall.. the effect of seasons started to dictate my work. My practice was more installation based, dealing with issues of habitat, environment, and sustenance. And then, *poof!* all of that seemed to lift when I moved here. I rebuilt my practice, which, at the moment looks more at the nature of object hood, in one way or another.
What’s your favorite thing about LA? L.A. is great. It’s a fabulous place to work as an artist. It’s not as cost-prohibitive to set up a studio here as it is in other metropolitan areas. And I don’t know of any other cities where you can live a midst everything and still be on a sunny hillside, which is fantastic. Plus there are oceans, and mountains, and forests, and deserts …
If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and why? It is funny to answer this, now that I’ve described my relationship to climate … but I’ve always wanted to cross the Bering Straight. I imagine this trip would be this profound trans-continental reverse migration… a trip to ponder limits— the boarders between continents, the boundary line of time, the northern extremity of civilization. A voyage in this place that’s only really visited in extreme circumstances. I wonder what those circumstances were that got people trudging so far north to cross over to our continent so many thousands of years ago in the first place.
Any current or upcoming shows we should know about? Yes! My thesis show at the USC Roski School of Fine Arts is up April 24th-27th, the opening reception is Friday the 26th. I also have a show of video works in January of 2014 at Providence College, RI.