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Light Emitting Studies

Bonnie Crawford Kotula's Light Emitting Studies 2015 consist of hand stitched soft sculptures, painted wood, cheap craft materials, and electrical circuits. The electronic components used to control the lights are free form soldered as elements of the sculptural composition. Tiny sensors in the circuits respond to the ambient light in the room to alter the rate of the blinking lights.

Flexible Instincts

Discarded objects and bits of string are stitched into scraps of American Bird Conservancy bird tape, an adhesive that, when applied to windows, prevents bird collisions. Mimicking a bird’s opportunism when building a nest, I select materials that are readily available – plastic packaging, webbing for produce, twigs, and wool. Using decorative stitching techniques to incorporate the found objects with the bird tape, I often leave the ends of thread loose. The resultant objects seem at once perfunctory and considered, contingent and complete.

Perforations

Tiny multicolored flashing lights are integrated into sculptural forms and suspended in the gallery. The lights flash at varying speeds depending upon the ambient light in the room. Dim gallery lights aimed at the floor of the darkened room recall the lighting of displays at science museums, nudging the viewer to become aware of the exhibition space as construct.

  • Perforations

    Site specific installation with circuits and found objects.
  • Perforations

    Site specific installation with circuits and found objects.
  • Perforations

    Site specific installation with circuits and found objects.
  • Perforations

    Site specific installation comprised of electrical circuits, wood, string and found objects.

Suffuse Suffice

Suffuse/Suffice is a site-specific installation, which utilizes multiple sculptural objects as the primary components. These sculptural objects are comprised of electrical circuits enclosed in orbs made of crocheted industrial plastic. The circuits incorporate a combination of lights and small fans. The crocheted plastic works to diffuse the light emitted by the sculptures at the same time that it catches wind by the fans. In addition, certain crocheted orbs contain lenses, prisms or found materials that work to manipulate the light.

Commonplace

Commonplace uses light as a sculptural element in installation. The logic of their circuits ensures that the tiny lights fade on and off in direct correlation to the other lights blinking nearby. Each light functions as a discrete object while simultaneously contributing to the ebb and flow of the environment.
The lights are aimed at various objects throughout the room. The objects range from discarded plastic packaging, PC board, or saltine crackers. They function simultaneously as obstructions, windows, and lenses for the light aimed through and around them.

Light Emitting Studies

These works primarily consist of light and electricity. The electronic components used to control the electricity are free form soldered as prominent elements in sculptural composition. In addition, the circuitry controls the timing of the light, while rubber, conductive thread, consumer packaging and paper alter the quality of that light.
I refer to the works in this series as studies in that they engender analysis through their production. They are not studies in the sense that they are a means to a more complete work of art, nor does their functionality as studies cease when they are completed. Both the act of making and the act of viewing them links experimentation with experience to elicit ?illumination?.

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About Bonnie

A fourth generation South Carolinian, Bonnie Crawford Kotula now lives and works as a sculptor in Baltimore. She became interested in using electrical circuitry as an art material when a problem with the electrical tissue in her own heart required surgery. She received her MFA from the University of... more

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