My work has always used functional items – things like ladders, houses, jars, and chairs. When I was in graduate school, I started making work that went further than just referencing functionality. Instead of just looking like it would work, I made sculptures and clothing that really did work. I made beds with wheels, and desks with wheels, and dresses with (wait for it) - wheels, and noticed a theme emerging. I’m compelled by the need for individual mobility. Whether it’s the need to change locations because of war, economics, religion, or climate, I’m interested in addressing the specifics of how individuals change locations, contexts and identities quickly. Clothing works brilliantly to achieve these goals, and my recent work uses clothing as a format and a material. The clothing I make is hyper-utilitarian: sometimes changing forms, like from a jacket to an apron; changing use, from a camouflage dress into a sleeping tent; or changing by addition, like multiple wearers connecting their clothing into a new communal form. I test what I make, and this becomes another part of the work; an experiential way to interact with the work.
Drawing has always been an important part of my process and my research and finished drawings are another product of my inquires. In conjunction with the mobile clothing, the drawings I producepull from that research and address the contemporary issue of immigration and history.
About Cori Champagne:
Cori Champagne is a sculpture and installation artist working in Boston. She holds a dual-BFA in Sculpture and in Glass from Massachusetts College of Art + Design, and an MFA from Maine College of Art. Cori has exhibited work all over the US: independently, and in collaboration with the Bunny Sandwich Collective. From 2010-2015, Cori joined primary collaborator, Sandra Oberdorfer, in the Bunny Sandwich Artist Collective, and in that time they executed a series of projects together. The BSC received grants from the Puffin Foundation and The Barbara Deming Fund for their “American Nomads” project, and had multiple solo exhibitions on the East and West Coast. Their most recent show, “Floating Edge” was exhibited at Monte Vista Projects in Los Angeles.
In addition to her studio practice, Cori has extensive teaching and curriculum development experience in several Boston colleges. Currently, she is adjunct faculty at Boston Architectural College where she teaches in the Foundation Studios program in the School of Architecture, and is also involved in the grassroots organization, City Studio project, which aims to create and protect studio spaces for creative professionals in Boston.