Imagined emotional organs…

Amanda 389A4557

Amanda Triplett. Hysteria. 2016

We’re on the last lap here for the Glean Residency and I’m so excited to share a few photos of the sculptures that I will be showing on August 11th at the Bison Building.

Amanda 389A4550

Amanda Triplett. Obsession. 2016

The dump is a repository for unwanted things and these things are charged with so much emotion.  As I watched the ever changing mountain of trash, I thought about how there was such a feeling of catharsis as people tossed their things into the trash pile. There was a sense of letting go of emotional baggage, things that don’t serve and reminders of past lives. I realized that the sculptures coming from these retired objects were embodied representations of these difficult emotions that were being released.  The sculptures became organs that functioned as containers for these difficult emotions.

Amanda 389A4544

Amanda Triplett. Tenderness 2016

I hope to see you all at our opening at the Bison Building on August 11th. It’s going to a wonderful show.

The show is fast approaching…

I’m feeling pretty good about where I’m at in the creation process. Things are coming along and ideas are flowing nicely. I’ve almost roughed out all of my pieces. Then I will go back and refine, embellish, and embroider some more. Oh yes, and video! I’ve finally sorted my ideas for the video component of my Glean residency. I’ve been doing a lot of writing, exploring the stories of the materials I’ve gleaned and looking deep into their functions as they transition from trash to treasure. The videos will look at materiality, pairing the texture and tactile experience of material with the cultural perception of the value of objects. All videos will be available on the web and accessible via QR code and phone at the exhibit.

Until then, here are some examples of the sculptures I’ve been building.gleansculpture2


Both of these are made from towels, sweaters, pillow pollyfill, blanket and discarded yarn.


This one is my current obsession still in progress. Costume netting, towels, pillow pollyfill, blanket and yarn.

Lost in a sea of materials

I haven’t gleaned in a few weeks. It has become very clear that I needed to take a break from gleaning to actually make art with the massive amounts of materials that have accumulated in a corner of my studio. Now I am in art making mode, spreading out my materials like a messy little mouse making a nest in her house.


So, here I am currently lost in a sea of materials. I am making lots of art, but I feel a bit directionless at the moment. My instinct is to explore and play with the materials, making components for my sculptures, sewing, embroidering, stuffing polyfill into things, and sewing more. I’m feeling unfocused about where the sculptures are going and what they are going to be, which is pretty normal for me.  I’m taking it as a sign that I need to lose myself in the process. I am trusting that I am meant to let the materials guide me right now. I always think of Jackson Pollack as the ultimate example of an artist who can lose himself in his materials and process. Sewing is not as given to immediacy as is painting, but I’m trying to channel my inner Pollack in my stitches. I’m trying to stay loose. 


Here I am wearing some of my sculptures. Sometimes you have to wear your sculptures when you work in fiber even if they are not technically meant to be worn.

The wonky, red crate


Let’s just talk about this sweet, little red crate I found at the transfer station on my first day of gleaning. Little beauty, right? The cherry red color caught my eye and I thought it would be a perfect base on which to build a sculpture. It’s a little damaged and crunched, which creates a lovely curve to usually straight box lines.

Since I’m collecting stories from the objects I Glean, I decided to ask my almost 4 year-old son the story of this crate. Without any hesitation, he informed me that this crate was a banana box that has been shipped in a large truck. Apparently, the truck got into an accident and a bad guy came along and turned it into gold. Then a good guy showed up and turned it back into a red crate. Finally, it has reached its destination and we will turn it into art soon.

Before it gets to be art, this crate has enjoyed a second life as a wonderful plaything for my son. Since it’s recent arrival at my house, it has been a cave, a boat, and a mountain to climb. For my children, this crate is a magnificent object with endless possibilities. If only we all saw stuff with children’s eyes, I think our waste troubles would be behind us.

Story-full objects


Yesterday, I gleaned for the very first time. There is something breathtaking about standing in front of a giant pile of unwanted items. I couldn’t help but wonder why so many of these things had been deposited at the transfer station instead of being spruced up, rehomed or freeboxed. Some of the items were clearly damaged or broken, bits of things once whole. However, a large percentage of the stuff seemed to be in decent working order. There was so many good things that with a little love or cleaning could be used for years to come.

My heart kind of breaks for these orphaned objects. I can’t help but wonder about the worlds these objects left behind, their lives before being trashed. Part of my glean project is to find the stories within these discarded objects and share them, giving them life and value. It is my hope that as I transform my trash orphans into sculpture, the stories will reveal themselves.

All the serious stuff aside, what fun it is to get to search through this great mound of interesting, story-full objects! I have already gleaned a bunch of wonderful items that I can’t wait to share.