Eighteen o Five’s new show, “Hero Reconsidered”, is currently exhibiting Michelle Ferrera’s new series of drawings on wood. The collection celebrates and explores the 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 first preps and sands the wood meticulously in order to perfect the surface, but then burns 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 result in an incredible sculptural self portrait.
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.
Written by Lauren Siry
Work by Michelle Ferrera will be on view at Eighteen o Five
Friday thru Sunday 12-5pm until August 4th.
Eighteen o Five is Located on 1805 Columbia Street in Little Italy, San Diego.