Patricia Gillespie, Service with a Smile, Femina Potens

Patricia Gillespie has a show up at Zza’s right now. click here to link to John Casey’s blog coverage of the show.

If you’re in SF you can see her latest window installation “Service with a Smile” at Femina Potens Gallery, Sanchez/15th and Market until the end of April. I asked her a few questions about it:

Obi: Describe this project Patricia. How did you come about installing at Femina Potens?

Patricia: Femina Potens gallery is a multi-disciplinary arts space in SF. They organize performing, visual, educational events that explore experiences of women, queer, and transgender people. Lian Ladia is the curator for the window installations at Femina Potens. I had first met Lian at a show she curated at the Esteban Sabar Gallery several years ago. Recently I ran into her at the Joyce Gordon Gallery where she is now the Associate Curator. She mentioned an upcoming show at FP that was about women and food- I knew that that was something that I would love to work on. I wasn’t sure what direction to take at first, maybe something about the relationship of food as comfort or the depravity of food? I decided on something more along the lines of the role that women are traditionally assigned with preparing food and play with the idea of “the quickest way to the heart is through the stomach”. That’s when I decided on the title “Service With a Smile”.

Obi: How did you make the design decisions in this install?

Patricia: Well, I knew that this was a site specific install, it didn’t require the figures to be weatherproof as my outdoor installations usually are (and are extremely heavy), and that gave me a lot more flexibility with the materials. I also looked at the project slightly differently with the figures’ expressions and gestures, I saw them more as a billboard, a sign, with benign expressions pointing to a place that is of another time, but could be right now. It’s still sexy and playful, and I also busted out a grocery bag mosaic background. Of course I selectively cut up the logos and the instructional info from the bags and subtly played with the placement behind the figures, just to give myself a little chuckle. Behind the banana “pull handles up not out”…

Obi: How has your experience been at Zza’s? What’s next?
Patricia: The response to my show at Zza’s has been amazing. I always have liked alternative art venues, it seems to bring art to people that usually wouldn’t go to a formal gallery.
The next immediate project I have is a piece for the Bouquets to Arts show that is at the de Young Museum. After that I really want to finish up my Shrine of the Graces series, I want to have at least six shrines (two are completed) and develop that into a full on installation piece, which I think will be quite yummy.


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