God Don't Make No Junk! An interview with artist Kendra Marable

Lawrence artist Kendra Marable.

Lawrence artist Kendra Marable.

Podcast episode

A.D.D.

God Don't Make No Junk! An interview with Kendra Marable

Kendra Marable's mantra might as well be "God don't make no junk!" The Lawrence artist has an uncanny ability to find objects that surpass the realm of novelty. Such objects form the foundation for her new exhibit, "What Remains To Be Seen," a collection of distinct mixed media prints and ...

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Kendra Marable's mantra might as well be "God don't make no junk!" The Lawrence artist has an uncanny ability to find objects that surpass the realm of novelty.

Such objects form the foundation for her new exhibit, "What Remains To Be Seen," a collection of distinct mixed media prints and wild shrines to a bygone era. Growing up on a farm in Minnesota bonded Marable to the land, food and culture around her — a connection that guides her as she hunts for "junk" across the Midwest.

Along with her confessed love of all things sparkly, Marable divulges her psychic ability to find plastic fruit and more in this edition of A.D.D.

"What Remains To Be Seen" opens Saturday and runs through Feb. 13.

Past Event

Opening: "What Remains To Be Seen," new works by Kendra Marable

  • Saturday, December 12, 2009, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Wonder Fair: Art Gallery & How!, 803 Mass. St., Lawrence
  • All ages / Free

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Artist Statement

All objects have a history. At one point there was an owner, an occasion, a meaning. They were someone’s. But then, a treasured birthstone necklace from a favorite uncle ends up at the bottom of a dusty box in the back of a barn. Two matching salt and pepper shakers having lived side by side for years, are separated forever; neither is shaken again. The rare family photograph survives the lives of all who impatiently sat still so long ago, only to end up at a junk store in a crowded drawer with dozens of unrelated strangers. All of these people once had names, identities, and personalities, their individuality now suspended as they all equally and simultaneously fade together. Is anyone, anywhere, missing them?

I collect cabinet card photographs and daguerreotypes from the late 1800’s. The photographs offer few clues of personal identity. Enlarged archival prints of the photos on drawing paper become surfaces for creating a fictional allegory with pencil drawing and collage. Insects, tools, utinsels and other objects adorn the anonymous, speechless lives with speculation and invention.

I am moved by the way that found objects resonate, carrying messages and traces from other worlds or realms within them. I am the medium, setting the stage for stories and secrets to unravel, unfold, and reveal. Perfume bottles, bird nests, broken toys, religious icons, rusty spoons, feathers and teeth settle in together allowing their meaning to shift within the poetry of relation. I apply layers of paint, wallpaper, dirt, sequins and pigment to suggest the possibility that these things have lived before; perhaps now being rediscovered in an attic, basement or garage.

As I sift through evidence of life around me, I gather up a mixed media carnival, a crumpled bag of souvenirs that charts my own adventures and process of being. To glean from the world in this way tells where I have been. By collecting the experience and the evidence, I become both the collector, and the collection... accumulating what remains to be seen — Kendra Marable, kendramarable.com

Comments

Jason Barr 12 years, 6 months ago

Dang, I was so tired when I edited this that I forgot how good this turned out. Upon third listen, I think I have a slow obsession building with Kendra. Thanks so much for being interesting & hillarious! See everyone at the Opening Sat!

Kendra Herring 12 years, 6 months ago

awwwww......so glad I did this. Of course I'm listening to it thinking, how did we leave out the part about finding amazing stuff in abandoned houses, and the part about my birthday cake collection,....oh,because.... Barr,....I forgot to tell you. THANKS for sharing the Monday snowy black tea convo.

Chris Tackett 12 years, 6 months ago

Kendra,

I really enjoy this series. It reminds me of well-done art cars, which I really like looking at. Also, elements of these remind me of David O'dell (at least I think that's his name). I first saw his work at an art event called Trash to Treasure in San Francisco. He had an incredible piece based on the Iraq war/occupation you can see here:

http://lincart.com/artists/album27/46_American_Colonial_smaller

more close-up pics of my own here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33248084... It was comprised of dollhouse furniture, army men and other figurines, old cell phones, toy tanks and trucks, etc. There were also some strange additions. For instance, notice all of the jayhawks. Those were an interesting surprise for me, which I never figured out. I took it as symbolic of a bunch of troops/jayhawks from Kansas finding themselves feeling out of place in a foreign land. Inside the book cases were headlines from newspapers relating to the war.

Darker than your work, but another great example of art generated by a carefully collected sum of smaller parts.

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