Beth Giacummo (’16): Grommet Drawings & Inflatable Sculptures

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Visual artist Beth Giacummo, known for her site-specific, interactive, inflatable sculptures, came to Saltonstall ready to experiment with some new ideas. “I’m calling them grommet drawings,” she says, referring to half-a-dozen works on paper tacked to her bulletin board (seen above on the left.) Paper is bisected with organic shapes, lined with tiny grommets, and then fastened with a metallic silver thread or ribbon. “I’ve never done these before,” says Beth. “I never have the time to just make drawings and the studio space to spread them all out and see how they look on their own or as a collection. I’m really excited about them.”

Beth’s residency to-do list also includes some inflatable work. Her sewing machine has been running, and she had more fabric shipped to her at the colony. Her inflatables are visual translations of the shape, function, and biological effects of specific hormones like oxytocin, for example. “(The inflatables) are not actually what these hormones look like under a microscope,” she says, laughing. “They’re a little less literal. They’re more like the emotive qualities of specific hormones in various states.”

The grommet drawings were born out of the same ideas as the inflatables. “They’re all related to my sculptural work,” explains Beth about the new works on paper. “The difference is that I’m thinking about what we use to ‘fix’ and ‘repair’ ourselves in regard to synthetic materials.”