Effort as a form of creativity and control and striving as a method of survival are ongoing areas of interest. The implications of effort, the motives behind ‘making a living’, what it means to be ‘on the clock’ and the refusal to rest in our current cultural climate are topics that have materialized in meditative copper clock ‘fountains’, post apocalyptic racks of clay encrusted bread, suspended shirt-seam ‘schematics’, monolithic pocket prints and unkempt sports goals made of used T-shirt collars.
My studio practice depends upon looking, collecting, deconstructing and repositioning found images and utilitarian objects for poetic and symbolic purposes to bring attention to the traces and residues of humans’ ‘best efforts’. Frayed shirt seams, pastel patinas from laundry mishaps, geologic layers of lint in pants pockets, or fingerprint ‘maps’ on copper plumbling playfully point to the tragi-comic nature of human handiwork and the passage of time. Socio-economic issues, workplace politics and the relationship between basic needs and transcendent desires are metaphorically embedded in the materials with which I work.
Kristen Cochran is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Dallas, TX. Originally from Portland, OR, she moved to Texas to complete her MFA at The Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University in 2010. She has exhibited her work locally, nationally and internationally and has been awarded residencies in Long Island City, NY, Mittersill, Austria, Banner, Wyoming and recently completed a year-long residency at The Center for Arts and Medicine at Baylor Hospital’s Sammons Center for Cancer Research. Kristen has taught extensively at universities and museums in the Dallas-Fort Worth area including The University of Texas, Dallas, The Nasher Sculpture Center and The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Recent exhibitions include chroma soma at Barry Whistler Gallery (Dallas, TX), Fold In at Lawndale Arts Center (Houston, TX), GOALS at the Stein Galleries (Wright State University, Dayton, OH) and Material Intension at ex ovo projects. She will participate in the group show, "After Carolee: Tender and Fierce" at Artpace, San Antonio in 2020 and is heading to Brooklyn, NY to participate in The NARS Foundation International Artist Residency.
Ms. Cochran’s recent work explores the pleasures, absurdities and banalities of daily labor (be it physical, mental or spiritual) and its symbolic implications. Her transdisciplinary work shape shifts in the forms of sculpture, drawing, video and installation and is often comprised of quotidian materials such as bread, clay, clothing, shirt pockets and copper plumbing—materials used as they relate to the gestures, needs and aspirations of human beings at work.