Whittie of the Week: Fine arts maverick
One the night of Saturday, April 14 someone decided to tear down the brightly colored web of pipe cleaners hanging on the bushes in front of the library. The artist, Wynne Auld, wasn’t bothered by the destruction of her carefully-constructed project. Her cheerful, anything-goes mentality is what makes Wynne Auld this week’s Whittie of the Week.
“It was probably just a drunk person having some fun,” she said of her damaged piece. Auld has decided to “rebirth it as a Phoenix.”
“Sometimes it’s really hard for us to process things without categorizing them. Everyone keeps asking me, ‘What’s it for?’ or ‘What’s it supposed to be?’ Art often times refuses to let us categorize it and that’s really hard for a lot of people to deal with. This is simply supposed to be beautiful.”
The project is for an Intro to Studio and Design class taught by Ben Bloch. The assignment was to make something using duplicity. Auld chose pipe cleaners as her medium. The idea was to merely change the space rather than to come up with something conceptual.
Auld felt nervous about putting her piece in a public setting. She understood why someone might tear it down, sending a message that the area is their space too. Bloch wasn’t so understanding, asking, “No one is defacing the Marcus Whitman statue, so why did they tear down your web?”
“That unique pondering of a single, specified object is one thing that appeals to me about the sculpture project. We all have ideas zooming through our minds like invisible satellite cell phone signals bouncing around. No one knows what other people are thinking about. But any individuals who saw the web at the same time, whether it was from across Ankeny or right underneath it were pondering the same object. It took them out of their normal routine to a very present self,” wrote Auld through e-mail.
Auld grew up in Prosser, Washington, on a cherry and apple orchard. She describes herself as being “a haggard little girl always covered in cherry juice.”
After high school, Auld won a sponsorship through her local Rotary club to study abroad for a year. Auld chose to go to Holland.
“I wanted my own experience, to do something different from my twin sister. To have my own language and cultural identity,” said Auld. In Holland, Auld lived in an agricultural community in what used to be a lake until they pumped the water out of it. She took classes and traveled, especially enjoying her time in Amsterdam.
“Partying, to me, is about the excitement of other people. It is a celebration of mystery and dancing. It’s being entertained by others. That’s what I found in Amsterdam, and my greatest delight was to be inconspicuous among them. Amsterdam, like many European capitals, is filled with immigrants, and I was one of them,” wrote Auld through e-mail.
At Whitman, Auld immediately felt accepted. “So many people at Whitman come from different places and life journeys; I really like that,” she said.
Auld became interested in folk dancing her freshman year. She is currently in a folk dancing club of both Whitman students and community members. Last week they put on a Midnight Waltz where “people pranced around in gowns and suits.”
“I hear about things and I go experience them. Once awake, I survey the outside, like a greeting, how are you today? The day has a mood, too. I interact with it like I interact with anyone else. Sometimes, on the gloomiest day, I have to wear a fluorescent yellow sweater. It glows on a mixed grey palette. I like the idea of wearing a palette, something that others digest uniquely,” wrote Auld.
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