You Tell Me a Story. I Draw You a Picture
What is Documentary Fine Art?
It is when artist, Debra Wuliger, interviews a community of people, listens to their stories and photographs them as they tell it. She then turns what she discovers into drawings, paintings and public art installations which creates a window into their community.
Debra has heard stories and photographed people in Caldwell County, North Carolina about a place that is special because of what happened to them there. Those images became watercolor portraits. In the project Wisdom Collects, Debra listened to people tell a transformational story of their lives and their photographs became expressive line drawings.
Objects - Portraits?
A Story Gathering Project
I am beginning a new fine art documentary project;
I am looking for memories about a treasured possession. What is the story behind the object? Why is it important to you? What emotions are invoked by the object? Do other people have similar feelings toward this object?
As people tell me their story, I will photograph them, with and without their possession, to catch their reactions and the connection we make as storyteller-listener. I will post an excerpt of the story and photographs as a blog post under, Objects - Portraits?
Artistically, I plan to take my documentary story collecting and drawing/painting practice and expand it both in meaning and visual impact. I want to grow the work to include the pattern making I have been doing extensively in 2018-2019.
What if the portrait of the person, the object and the story were just the starting point? As I look and hear more deeply, I begin to see the underlying abstracted patterns that join the three. I then begin to see a pattern that joins every person, object and story into one unified whole.
The images I post on the blog will go from realistic, begin to become abstracted using cropping and enlargement and finally end in my related drawing of a patterned shape abstraction. Complex form to simplified form to patterned abstraction, the underlying pattern that holds us all from which we come.
The story will go through the same abstracted process. The memories that the object invokes are a remembrance, ephemeral and shifting. The object itself stands in as an abstracted idea of both the person who values it, and the memory. So the whole story will not be used, but instead be pared down into a few sentences.
I am curious to see the similarities and differences as to which objects are important to people in many different places. I would like to take the project into the wider world, comparing and contrasting people’s stories to facilitate a shared understanding and community.