Tyvek Innovative Uses Blog, by Material Concepts

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tyvek Art with Tyvek 10G from Debra Ramsay

Debra Ramsay: Suite of Two Equal Lovers
The Tyvek Innovative Uses Blog today features the work of Debra Ramsay, a New York artist who works with a variety of non-traditional materials, including Tyvek. Her Tyvek art was recently featured in the exhibition called "Making Room" at the Institute Library in New Haven, CT, where Ramsay displayed a nine piece series of 3 dimensional Tyvek pieces.

Debra Ramsay: Detail of Two Equal Lovers Tyvek Art Piece

We asked Debra to describe the use of Tyvek in her art. She supplies the following on that topic:

For many years I've used soft Tyvek as an archival protective wrapping material for my encaustic (wax) paintings. My art practice involves using materials that are not traditionally considered to be art supplies, such as bubble wrap, eggshells, and string. While on residency this summer at The BAU Institute, in Otranto, Italy, I started a series of works of paper and wanted to continue the exploration once back in my studio in NYC. I wanted these paper pieces to remain unframed and was concerned about the longevity of a work of paper not protected by glass. The bright white of the soft Tyvek was attractive to me and I started testing if it would respond in the ways the paper did. I needed the Tyvek to fold well and hold its shape. The soft Tyvek was not able to perform these tasks so I contacted tech support at Material Concepts to ask how I might stiffen the material. This was a breakthrough moment. Who knew there were 22 types of Tyvek?! After receiving my Tyvek samples, I learned that Tyvek 10G had all of the properties I was looking for. I like that it accepts acrylic paint and when glued to a wall using rice paste it adheres well but I can remove it and re-adhear the work in a new location.

The current series of work, made with Tyvek 10G is titled Love_. The series is based abstractly on Plato's Symposium. In the Symposium Aristophanes recounts how the first humans were doubled creatures (two men, or two women, or a man and woman connected together in a spherical shape). They were super duos that were causing the Gods some concern regarding a take-over. Zeus remedied the situation by splitting them apart. Therein lies the origin of the sentiments about "you make me feel whole" when speaking of finding that perfect partner. Tyvek, as a medium, translates this idea perfectly by allowing me to cut into the sheet, folding out two identically sized (but differently shaped) portions and have them move into space three-dimensionally.

Material Concepts works with many artists using Tyvek® in their work, providing technical support as well as Tyvek material samples to help artists select the right type of Tyvek® for their projects. In this instance, Tyvek® Hard Structure Type 10G was a good match for what Ms. Ramsey wanted to do with this project.

Many thanks to Debra Ramsay for contributing her experiences with selecting the style of Tyvek® that was right for her project. Photo used with her permission. Check out more of Debra's art!

If you are an artist working with Tyvek® and would like to share your story in this Tyvek® Innovative Uses blog, just drop a line to: doug@materialconcepts.com.

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