On Being Patient
44″ x 144″ x 12″
glass and found objects
36″ x 14″ x 7.5″
Gretchen Stevens Cochran is a visual artist working in cast and fabricated three-dimensional elements. Her work has been included in local, national, and international exhibitions. She has received Individual Artist Excellence Awards in the states of New Hampshire and Ohio. She has participated in Artist Residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the Prague Contemporary Art Center at Cimelice, Czech Republic, and Sanskriti Foundation, New Delhi, India. She has taught at the Radcliffe Center for the Arts, Keene State University, Dartmouth College Museum and Galleries, and most recently Otterbein University.
Statement for Reflection
In some cases reflection occludes our vision; the mirror gets in the way of seeing forward. Large things appear in small spaces. Unexpected images pop up capriciously. A shiny reflective surface rivets our attention as we search for our own image.
In the collection of objects collectively titled “Reflection”, I am exploring these ideas in materials and forms.
Statement for On Being Patient
Remnants connect memory with the familiar and the exotic. Memories themselves become fragmented into remnants as time separates experience and recollection. Thinking about the title for this exhibition at the same time I was being treated for cancer led me to consider sentence fragments (remnants in themselves) like: being patient, risk/benefit, quality of life and numbers game, as metaphors.
This grouping of five modest figurative sculptures set against a wide pink stripe references my experience with cancer. The chalk text notes memory fragments. The forms are inspired by a tin can doorstop purchased in a “shop” in Claremont, New Hampshire. Tin can doorstops are a 1930’s Depression Era folk art fabricated from found materials inserted into weighted tin cans.
1. “On Being Patient” recalls regaining consciousness after anesthesia and time spent trying to piece together reality absent physical sensation.
2. “Risk/Benefit” refers to anticipating and experiencing toxicity of radiation treatment.
3. “A Numbers Game” connects wondering about my gene identification and prognosis percentages.
4. “Look Good Feel Better” is drawn from the American Cancer Society program of the same name that invites participants to build confidence by enhancing their appearance with make-up, synthetic hair and scarves.
5. “Grace,” my mother’s name and a state of being, assumes the candle form to confront mortality.