How do you test a prototype that, in theory, functions as the protector for an invaluable object?
As in, would you feel comfortable attaching a priceless work of two-dimensional art to a prototype of a travel frame? What happens if your prototype fails? What happens if you ruin the artwork?
This conundrum became reality this past week for us. We wanted to test our prototypes for their true function, but we didn’t want to hurt any artwork in the process.
Enter Allison Hunter, an international visual artist who was kind enough to donate a few of her misprinted photography works to us. Allison is celebrated both in the Houston community and the world abroad for her twenty years of experience in multiple art medias, including photography, drawing, video, painting, performance, and installation.
Recently, Allison has been focusing on animal photography and videography. Her larger-than-life prints of animals, ranging from flamingos to frogs to sheep, are awe-inspiring and somewhat playful. Her work reminds us that animals belong on this Earth and, like the rest of humanity, deserve our kindness and respect. Here is her artist statement, which can be found on her website:
I am interested in making people think about how they perceive and respond to elements of the world around them that are often marginalized or overlooked. I approach this problem in my art work by taking things out of context to show their beauty, grace, and uniqueness. My effort is not to add but to remove elements from the original image to allow the viewer to focus more intently on the process of displacement and reinterpretation. For example, when I photograph living creatures in zoo environments, I frame the scene with the camera and later edit out background information in order to create a sense of mystery that evokes questions from the viewer. My interest in non-human animals stems in part from my background in feminist art and feminist theory, where I first understood how sexism is linked to speciesism. I approach my animals and their re-location in virtual environments as a way to exercise a desire for a better world, one where humans treat all living beings with equal care.”
With her generosity, we have had the opportunity to test our prototypes for their true function: holding, protecting, and transporting two-dimensional art. We greatly appreciate her contribution to our project this summer, and we can’t see what she creates next.
To learn more about Allison Hunter, please visit her website: www.allisonhunter.com.