Sunday, May 15, 2005

Rebekah Potter Interview (Multi-Media Artist)

This was unquestionably my most informal interview - and it seemed perfect for the subject. We met in her kitchen while she made pizza dough, and I questioned her with off-hand comments. I considered it an interview version of her work - "not a rectangle." Sometime later, she gave me a 5' x 4' piece of art that I had admired in her studio. It's vaguely rectangular, has no real corners, is folded in places, stitched, battered, taped (and all this the way she made it), and goes everywhere with me. Like all great art, wherever I hang it, it's perfect.

Rebekah Potter does not believe in rectangles. Instead, she prefers to let the borders of her art become part of the art itself. Using scrap wood – complete with gashes, tears, and protrusions – she creates pieces that purposefully reach beyond the boundaries our minds impose. Many of her paper and cardboard collage pieces have no shape, reaching out and folding back in on themselves, helping turn the medium into the message. She sews stitches into many of her pieces, adding texture and drawing your eyes to places they would not necessarily go. And yes, she does have some rectangular pieces, but only because it suits her to do so.

Potter has been called an intrepid wanderer, living alone around the world, yet always touching base in Jackson, where she lived for six years. Perhaps because of her infrequent visits home, she has remained near the edges of Jackson’s vibrant art scene, yet she has many devotees and numerous individuals collect her work. She often reaches inside herself to find her subject matter, which vividly reflects her state of mind at the time.