Michelle Ferrera’s new series of drawings on wood explore beauty and power of the female form in her artistic practice.
Michelle’s drawings portray herself in vulnerable poses that emphasize her femininity while simultaneously exuding strength.
Her choice of materials“ are emotionally fueled by her life experiences” and the careful treatment of them reflects her devotion to her work ethic and self. She expertly preps and sands the wood meticulously only to burn and char the edges. After prepping the panel, she directly applies graphite to the raw wood surface supported by a handmade wooden frame. The natural color of the wood and burns that are visible reveal beautiful imperfections on the surface, and perhaps within the artist.
The figure, executed in a soft medium, is highly contrasted by the firmness of the wood. Once the two organic materials have joined, she manipulates the work further by varnishing the entire surface. When the varnish dries the graphite female figure is sealed into the wood. The ethereal medium and stripped lumber are then presented as a single solid form.
After the construction of the panel and fifty hours of miniscule marks, the 2-dimensional drawing transforms into a stable sculptural piece. Michelle describes the wood “as a reflection of [her] body...and the pencil, [her] soul”. Driven by an artistic force, she produces a dependent relationship between the pencil and the wood. The combination of the two natural materials produces a self portrait that takes on 3-dimensional form.
The intensive process of building the wood structure and laboring through thousands of delicate pencil marks, display the strength and focus of the exposed female artist. Michelle’s rigorous art practice, described as “therapy,” not only tests the limits of the medium but also challenges her body and mind.
Work by Michelle Ferrera will be on view at 1805 Gallery Friday thru Sunday 12-5pm until August 4th, 2012
1805 Gallery is Located on 1805 Columbia Street in Little Italy, San Diego.