At the center of my artistic explorations are questions about Time and the ephemeral nature of existence, usually rendered with humor and a touch of the theatrical.
Dwelling in the northeast, it is impossible to be unaffected by the cycle of the seasons. The arc of life happens before our eyes, as vegetation hurtles out of the ground, puts forth flowers and seeds, changes colors, and falls away again. My current work is created using natural materials- leaves, bark, grasses- at various stages in their development. Viewed as a medium for the making of art, these materials are perfect metaphors for Time, as well as containers for endless layers of meaning. They are right outside my door, and collecting them in my locale connects me to my spot on earth. When these materials are fashioned into clothing they stand in for the human relationship to temporal processes, as well as representing the unseen wearer.
The act of gathering is central to my process. I collect when it is possible to arrest a particular phase of growth or decay; when the linden leaves have just dropped and are still yellow and supple, or in the spring when the maple leaves have whitened and turned to lace. There is a rhythm to this practice, forcing me to remain alert to the minute shifts occurring in my local forest. If I do not respond swiftly enough, my opportunity to use a material is lost until the following year.
About Wendy Copp:
In 2006 I was seized with the desire to pack up, get on my horse, Jolie, and ride out into the countryside along dirt roads and trails wandering in a large circle around the state of Vermont. I had a deep and unaccountable need to live outside, traveling in the rain and heat with my horse as my companion. I did not plan my route beyond the first two weeks, and I thought I would mark my passage by creating small constructions from whatever materials I found en route. This proved impossible because the elemental needs of my horse and I were too consuming. It was only later that I realized that my current work, made from natural materials, traces much of its inspiration from this and subsequent treks.