a little personal history
it was three years ago when I accepted a sports scholarship to a college in New York, knowing full well that meant that I would be studying something other than art.
This college had a strong religious affiliation, but I didn’t go there to get closer to any sort of post-mortem paradise, I went there because it was free.
My reasoning followed this simple line of thinking:
a college education- free of charge
years of training paid off
art doesn’t make a career anyway
it was a pragmatic decision.
pragmatism- a small aside
I had no choice but to be pragmatic. I grew up in a middle class home- the kind where everything is just out of reach.
My father built our home from the ground up.
My mom still saves every glass jar, plastic bag, and when we went out to eat- no matter how little was left we took home the leftovers.
Me? I was busy making my own plushies.
I adored stuffed animals, breaking down in tears each time I was denied a teddy bear on a shopping trip. I reached my breaking point and started to make my own.
You know what they say:
When you want something done right,
Do it yourself.
by me (age 11)
That pragmatic decision led to a difficult year for me. Of course, I continued making. I was still an artist, but the focal point was so far off from what I wanted to be doing that my time was spent wallowing, not creating.
That year in New York, as I skipped class to go to any museum with free admission. I got little “divine inspiration” from mandatory chapel services, I got it from browsing the galleries of the Whitney Museum, from riding the A-train and making up imaginary stories about the strangers across from me. What disgusting charm that city had.
As the subway rumbled and I squeezed between faceless strangers, I remembered that childhood wonder when my mother told me I could be the person illustrating the cute drawings in my favorite picture books. I remembered high school art teachers giving all their energy to making me better. I remembered my friends asking me to draw their portraits, their pets- and I realized these people knew better than I did. And I ignored them for years.
So I dropped out
no more fooling around with “pragmatic” life decisions.
I make rugs now.
four eyes (8×12″)
by me (age 21)
thursday, december third- seattle wa
I’m currently sitting on my bed surrounded by my own cultural artifacts. like a museum curator I collect visuals and display them for an audience of one.
my entire room is a testament to this role as a collector. collecting the art of others, my own work, or simple objects that bring inspiration. This collecting leads to a collage of ideas, finished and unfinished, sentences that begin with no end and the ends of sentences with no context. Theres art produced by others lining my walls, objects from my personal past, colors that excite and little pieces of paper that house irredeemable memories. I want to see everything I own constantly.
In many ways, it’s born out of necessity. When you have as short of an attention span as I do, you need every reference, every material within arms reach- in this case quite literally
this is my desk. sort of. This “desk” isn’t even really a desk at all, it’s a cheap ikea shelf held up with scrap wood.
it’s far too small.
Like a lot of what I do, this mushroom stool was the product of seeing something I wanted, realizing I could make it better than whoever wanted my money, and then making it myself.
Like most of the things I make, it’s construction is entirely dependent on what materials I already had. In this case, a scrap piece of plywood attached to a broken Home Depot bucket by a single screw. The fabric was scrounged up from old sewing notions, held together with an abundance of staples.
And there’s my Triceratops mount, made exclusively from cardboard and paper mâché. I was in need of dinosaur-themed decor for an event I was throwing, and I just couldn’t resist keeping it as a permanent facet of my room decor.
I have an absolute tome of works of David Lynch, the first artist I saw break the rules.
David Lynch, Someone Is In My House Greta Enloe, A Stranger In My Own Home
I have a hard time letting go of physical things. I have an even harder time controlling my impulse to save every scrap, postcard, ticket stub, whatever it may be.
Why do we keep the things we do? When does an object become useless? No longer pragmatic?
pieces like these remind me that holding onto trash does actually lead to visually engaging ideas and art. Our connections to discarded objects reveals what we value and what we dont.
theres probably a million reasons why I have adopted this hoarder-esque habit.
a childhood where I was taught to save, conserve, and create?
a capitalist culture that assigns worth to personal collections?
an intense love for material things?
a deeply rooted problem I should probably see a therapist about?
frankly, I just want to take physical sensory objects- tangible artifacts – from fleeting moments.
Almost like a reference library, these objects inform my aesthetic decisions and the themes in my work, in varying levels of my subconscious.
Music and the concert scene are integral to my work-
most of my friends who are artists are musicians, not visual artists. Most of my friends in general I met through live music. My highest paid and most frequent commissions are for bands/musicians to use as merchandise or album/promo artwork..
I keep every ticket stub, wristband, setlist- trying to remember that fleeting moment of inspiration that occurs on the show floor.
I keep everything. If you’ve drawn a doodle on the corner of my notebook, written me a note, or sent me a letter, rest assured I still have it.
because of course I do.
so, what now?
so, about these rugs.
It’s a process that came out of sheer boredom from early quarantine. I saw a lot of artists starting to indulge in an art form popping up all over social media- rug tufting.
They had big machines and expensive frames.
I have an old canvas frame and an excess of burlap.
the sacristy- a conclusion
the catholic church is often considered the first & greatest patron of the arts, commissioning elaborate and expensive decor from the likes of Michelangelo, seen here in the new sacristy of the medici chapel, which also houses the tombs of Giuliano di Lorenzo and Lorenzo di Piero de’ Medici.
in catholicism, the function of the sacristy is to be a sacred place to prepare for mass, to be surrounded by nothing and everything, to be closer to divine messages.
my workspaces are my sacristy. i say this, not because I feel a religious attachment to my work, nor because of any affiliation with the catholic church, but because like the priest in the sacristy, I am surrounded by inspiration outside myself- surrounded by the work of others, objects with no context, stories contained in material things. Theres art produced by others lining my walls, objects from my personal past, colors that excite, work that has nowhere to go outside my personal space. to me, this is a sacristy-
I enter this space
a tunnel of unending visual and tactile stimuli
I prepare to work.
- christmas Charles © greta enloe
- four eyes © greta enloe
- gretas room-full © greta enloe
- greta’s room- corner © gretaenloe
- tricera mount © greta enloe is licensed under a Public Domain license
- someone is in my house © David Lynch
- stranger in my own home © greta enloe
- title © greta enloe
- urban compost © greta enloe
- greta’s room- music © greta enloe
- Untitled_Artwork 7 © greta enloe
- toy barstard album text © greta enloe/ethan ives is licensed under a All Rights Reserved license
- boise beach bearstance © greta enloe/stone crofts
- greta’s room- notes © greta enloe is licensed under a CC BY-NC (Attribution NonCommercial) license
- snake rug © greta enloe
- wikipedia screen shot