By blog guest, artist and writer, Terre Rybovich.

Terre Rybovich Torsos

Terre Rybovich paper torsos

Caren made time in her whirlwind week to stop by the opening of my exhibition at the Eissey Gallery. She also honored me by asking me to write about my process of making these new 3-D drawings.

For nearly a decade I’ve been making charcoal drawings based on imprints of my body. The thrill of collaborating with my mirror image to turn an imprint into a detailed drawing was pure joy at the start. But as the drawings gained visibility and I got more and more input from others, that initial intimate conversation dimmed. The joy suffered.

This year I spent months trying to recapture the magic. Trying and erring. One day, while riding the stationary bike at the gym, I flipped through pages of Travel and Leisure until I saw a photo of giant lampshades hanging in a design store. Immediately it was obvious to me that I could make 3-dimensional drawings modeled on my torso. Not sculptures but surfaces to draw on, surfaces that would bear the body’s imprint in a new way.

The concept was simple. I began the process of creating pattern pieces, fitting glassine paper to the contours of my torso. It was painstaking—improvising with a full-length mirror, a hand-held mirror in one hand and a black marker in the other. It seemed like I had to do this on my own, even though it was nearly impossible at times.

Then I realized it was the meditative, collaborative process I hoped to recapture. Again the experience of my body knowing things my mind didn’t. Running my hands over my contours I remembered my mother teaching me to sew from patterns when I was young, and how she expertly tailored my clothes throughout her life. And how my father pioneered sportsfishing boats by hand-carving wooden models instead of working with blueprints. Plus the patterns of my life, and those of the cosmos. Connections and memories came tome in floods.

The collaboration is alive and well. And now it’s amplified by other new techniques: video-making and pastel drawing. The vision is still to call on what’s most authentic to me, with the hope of prompting others to think in new ways.

Terre Rybovich’s multi-media work is on display as part of a two artist show (with Hanne Niederhausen) at the Palm Beach State College Eissey Campus Art Gallery, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida until October 19, 2012. The gallery phone number is 561-207-5015.

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