Bay St. Louis artist Vicki Niolet's assemblage art was featured in the Merkle Gallery. The 3D works included music boxes and lamps which could be hung on the wall or could be freestanding. The eclectic and sometimes seemingly eccentric pieces, combined with witty titles, are examples of how good art can be fun.
Vicki Niolet • Mixed Media
Using found objects and re-crafting bits and pieces of this and that, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, artist Vicki Niolet makes what she terms "repositories" for various memories, events, people, and places in her life
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"I like to make the titles a big part of the piece and it's even better if it's a play on words. In the case of this particular title, it twists not only the thought of Love into a 'painful' sort of thing, but it also uses the music box tune to carry out the joke even further. Puns and misquoted phrases seem to creep into titles as I work on the piece. Sometimes while I'm constructing something I'll just take an idea and toss it around in my mind (there's a lot of space up there) until something clicks. Another source of inspiration is the fact that I'm nearsighted and I misread things, with accidental titles flying at me from all directions," said Niolet.
"The materials I use are 'accidental' too. Most of the stuff I use is mined from thrift stores and roadside buried treasures, with some leftovers courtesy of Katrina. I like to take different routes through town leaving fate to offer me new opportunities. I rarely set out to find a perfect piece for just one assemblage, Usually I start out by placing 10 or 20 empty boxes or frames or containers on tables and benches, then just start plundering through my stash of goodies, letting things come to me in their own time and place. As the process starts to gel, then I begin to refine and let things settle in."
"After about a month of rummaging and rearranging, I've also started fabricating some of my own found objects from clay and handmade paper, like faces and hearts when I need something special as a focal point. Then I start the 'heavy construction' phase of drilling, gluing, sewing, painting, whatever it takes to make them work and stay together. Somewhere in the middle of all that, I usually come up with the title and decide whether it will need a music box, or a clock, or a lamp thrown in to make it actually do something. Sometimes pieces are okay just to 'be,' but I like the unexpected idea that art can multitask, look pretty and do tricks, too."
"I've been doing this off and on for about 30 years now, and I guess I should be featured on one of those reality shows, I just haven't decided yet whether I'm a Hoarder or a Picker. Maybe a little bit of both!"
FOR FOUND ART/ASSEMBLAGE LESSON PLAN go to www.teachervision.fen.com/ recyling/lesson-plan/3276.html