Previous cassette tapes are remodeled into artworks in Meg Frank’s “Street Journey”

Summer season is right here and I am trying ahead to a great street journey: the home windows rolled down, the solar shining on the horizon and good music a la Nicole Kidman in Sensible Magic. This longing is the thought behind my current piece “Street Journey”: 4 cassette tapes with eight miniature oil panorama work depicting the journey throughout America from the West Coast to the East. All of my street journey adventures have playlists, and as I take a look at every of the work on the tape, I can hear the songs that stored me firm on these lengthy drives. After all, it additionally works the opposite method round; listening to a sure tune can take me again to I-80, singing half the phrases whereas trying on the horizon. That feeling of transport to reminiscence and nostalgia is what I’m attempting to evoke with these tapes.

COVID has resulted in a number of cycles of canceled plans, so I’ve taken a number of street journeys to maintain my wandering mind sane. A lot of the reference pictures I used for the work had been pictures I took on a cross-country journey in the summertime of 2021. I began portray different outdated items of expertise, like outdated cell telephones and laptops; they really feel like barely extra substantial Polaroid pictures or different reminiscence samples I carry with me. I get pleasure from carrying telephones with me to look at and luxuriate in in different contexts just like the subway or the park. With correct preparation, virtually any floor could be painted, from shells and rocks to glass soda bottles or pickle jars. Discovering issues to color can simply develop into a part of a trip, and portray these issues while you get house is an effective way to recollect the enjoyable occasions.

I first got here throughout the thought of ​​portray on cassette tape by means of a trainer’s task to convey uncommon “canvas” to class. One factor I already had to consider for portray class was transporting any portray I created at school again to my residence whereas it was moist. Transferring round rather a lot as a child additionally made me recognize transportable methods of presenting artwork. Discovering an merchandise that got here with its personal case was actually satisfying, even higher being a transparent case.

Once I began portray cassette tapes, I used to be additionally experimenting with CD circumstances. I finally determined that I like tapes and their circumstances higher than CD circumstances due to the separation between the artwork and the body (or case), however I stored going again to the primary CD case I painted. It was an oil portray of a cloudy sky inside a CD case, which I titled “SoundCloud”. He wished it to do greater than present the sky; I wished it to be immersive. It is exhausting to try this with such a small object, and I spotted that the way in which round it was so as to add music.

Four painted cassette tapes representing Kansas, Colorado, New York, and Nevada (clockwise)

Choices from Meg Frank’s “Street Journey” sequence of work on cassette tapes depicting the next locations (in clockwise order): Kansas; Pueblo Lake, Colorado; View from the Whitestone Bridge in Queens, New York; Hoover Dam, Nevada facet
Photograph courtesy of Meg Frank

Music has all the time been an enormous a part of my creative observe – I all the time have the radio on in my studio and lots of of my items have playlists that I’ve created to take heed to whereas I work on them. Among the tapes I painted have recordings of the playlists I listened to whereas engaged on them, however lots of them are additionally mass-produced tapes that includes music from icons like Corridor & Oates, U2, James Taylor, Tina Turner, and different bands that I grew up listening within the automotive. I have been capable of get most of the pre-recorded tapes by means of neighbors at my native Purchase Nothing group, and I am thrilled to have the ability to work with recycled supplies.

To color an object like this at dwelling, you have to a number of brushes (#1 spherical, #3 spherical, #5 spherical, #6 flat), plaster or Mod Podge, acrylic paint, cardboard or paper plates to combine the paint. and a number of other cups of water to rinse. First, apply a number of skinny coats of plaster or Mod Podge to your object with the flat brush to prep it. It will assist the paint adhere to the article and forestall it from chipping. This step could be executed anytime earlier than portray, so for those who’re making this craft with children, priming the objects the night time earlier than can keep away from boring drying occasions. Earlier than portray, I do a fast sketch on the article with a pencil or pen to assist me keep away from warped work. I take advantage of oil paint, however I do not suggest it for informal crafts; it is rather sophisticated and requires the usage of poisonous solvents. Acrylic paint is less expensive, simpler to make use of, and simpler to scrub. It dries shortly and could be cleaned with cleaning soap and water.

I like portray on canvas, however there’s one thing particularly satisfying about creating artwork that another person can maintain in their very own palms and typically even take heed to. Due to these tapes, one other individual can know what it feels like in my mind once I see these particular views. Another person could know what my recollections sound like.

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