Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Patrick John Costello: Undergraduate Forum Nominee

"I am interested in sustainability as a difficult and necessary goal: idealistic, yet attainable. I am intrigued by the complexity of a lifestyle that considers its impact on the future of the environment and the people in it. As an expanding movement, sustainable living stresses interconnectivity and cause-and-effect awareness, but it still maintains destructive societal norms such as consumerism. Because sustainability is a relatively new mainstream concept, the movement towards the idea is fraught with many issues and complications."

"With this as a starting point, I want to construct a body of work that comforts, provokes, and celebrates whimsy. My thesis project has developed into a laterally expanding and constantly readjusting way of moving through and responding to my environment. Making has become my central tool for exploration. I believe that making is a radical act; it provides a thoughtful way of sifting through and playing in the world around us. Furthermore, I think that gallery and display spaces should take an active role in fostering this attitude. It is important that the processes of making, connecting, and questioning continue after the initial installation of an art show. Galleries can function as community centers -- places of constructive dialog and skill sharing."

"I look to process-based works and drawing to suggest conceptual themes in visual and tactile ways. This approach spurs my interest in edifice and materiality—I want to make the constructedness of my work apparent and relatable. It is important for me to build layers, to assemble pieces into a whole in much the same way that individuals come together in a community. Craft, feminism, radical politics, independent music and “do it yourself” ethics are some of the diverse elements that inform my aesthetic choices and methods. I delight in repetitive patterns, 1960's and 70's textile designs, and flat fields of color. In addition, I draw inspiration from children’s narratives and illustrators like Maurice Sendak, allowing me to work within imagined worlds. In these places, I can communicate my real-world ideals and questions with the subtlety and the open-endedness of imagination."

Patrick John Costello is earning his BFA at University of Virginia and works in a variety of mediums, including printmaking, fibers and sculpture.

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