They say the Devil’s in the details, and that art is an attempt to bring Order out of Chaos. Every Chaos hides an Order within.
I generally try to distill an image down to its bare elements and thus make it clearer. But on occasion, I feel a need to invite in a little chaos and let my mind run free; to discover new possibilities, and yes, to raise a little Hell.
What time is it? 3 a.m. Arghhhh . . . Try to sleep. Did I put the leftovers in the fridge? Did the car get registered? Yes, I remember. Next year, let’s skip planting beets. The deer ate the tops. I love beet greens. My friend likes them too. I’ll cook some next time we meet. Oh, we can’t meet. I hate COVID. Why is our world so upside down? Uh oh, I forgot to wash my mask. Do that tomorrow. Biking, walking. Walking. Mail, did we check the mailbox? That painting started so well. Where do I go with that? More blue maybe. Less detail. Multimedia stuff. Don’t be so timid with it. 3:30 a.m. Stop thinking. Sleep. SLEEP. Barns. Next painting will be a barn. I wish that Auburn barn hadn’t been torn down. Order white paint. Gee, I use a lot of that. Dinner—use those eggs—make quiche. Shouldn’t have drank that coffee. Tasted good. Tulips. Too late to plant? Dentist. Call Mum. Time to start Christmas shopping. Kids’ wish lists? 4 a.m. Need a good book. Something entertaining. Warm. Too hot . . .
Information concerning emergence, metamorphosis, and stifled ascension is core to the content of Easily Startled. The work consists of the space, the piece, the pedestal, and the floor. Textures on the creature range from polyester smooth to dangerously rough. Hues blast a Barbie pink visually squashing a rectangular brick column of washed out tans, greens, and teals. A larger than life-sized scale references a monumental form. Overall columnar compression contrasts with the mid-section of spindly-legged balance. These spindles support and attach the buoyant arched crown to a visually bottom-heavy, bell-shaped weight. In addition to the content of actions, the rougy and satiny sheen of the surface is aggregated with masses of reclaimed plaster, former ceramic works, glitter glue, and repetitively crumpled fabric. This overlapping of materials and the repetitive techniques revealed in criss-crosses of irregularly spaced stitches point to the maximalist and grotesque in conjunction with pin-up history.
Julia Baugh is an interdisciplinary artist working in ceramics, paper, plaster, and found objects. Baugh creates sculpture through hasty sewing, repetitive, and intuitive making and trash gathering. This aggregate process is based on eco-political philosopher Jane Bennett’s theory of “vital materiality.” Baugh holds a BS in Respiratory Care from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, an MA in Studio Art in Ceramics from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is currently a second year MFA candidate at the Maine College of Art.
Image at top: Dave Wade, Rain Garden, archival pigment print, 16 x 20 in.