Breaking down the traditional barriers betweeN Art and design, between function and materiality seems to be the future for furniture, and I’m nothing but delighted about it. - AM
We are pleased to introduce one of Detroit’s emerging design talents, Alanis McNier, in our season opening exhibition: What is the Future of Furniture? | Part I. Using innovative materials and processes that explore structure, color, form, and pattern, Alanis’ work challenges how we interpret the environments around us. We see great promise in the forthcoming College for Creative Studies graduate and sat down to learn a bit about her perspective, process and proclivity for creating functional objects.
NS: How do you define your practice?
am: My aim is to bring a greater understanding of the conditions instilled in us by blurring the boundaries between art and design. My work is focused on using innovative materials and processes that explore structure, color, form, and pattern to challenge how we interpret our environments.
Function remains a focus in my work because it provides an opportunity to push the boundaries in ways non-interactive work does not, a unique bond is formed between a person and their furniture. This place of intimacy is where I strive to blur the boundaries of art and design in hopes of introspection.
NS: How does the place in which you work inform your practice?
am: Detroit has been a very inspiring place to live and work as an artist. The culture, architecture, artist community, history and much more have given me introspection of my own. Realizing the relationship between my environment and self-discoveries laid the foundation of the work I’m doing today.
NS: Color plays quite a significant role in your work…
am: Color is something I focus heavily on in my work. I think color is an amazing tool in art and design. I use it to create contrast between my materials, establish hierarchies and set overall tones within a piece. I use it much like I use my textures, and together I think they’re really powerful.
NS: Do you have a favorite color?
am: I love them all. I have been noticing varieties of green popping up in my work recently, so there is definitely an attraction there. Though I believe I favor color relationships over single hues. As of lately, I’ve really been loving high contrast and split complementary relationships.
NS: What do you think is the future of furniture?
am: Dismissing conventional ideas of what is and isn’t furniture is very exciting to me aesthetically and socially. I think multi-disciplinary furniture, focus on materiality, and continuing to question the line between art and design will continue to carry furniture forward. Breaking down the traditional barriers between art and design seems to be the future for furniture, and I’m nothing but delighted about it.
NS: within the visual and tactile compositions of your work lies an important social/cultural objective…
am: Yes. Hard materials are made to look soft; soft materials are made to look hard; color changes, transparencies, and reflections are used to create layers and false changes. These material explorations challenge how we interact with our surroundings. If people can interact with work that challenges art and design, then my hopes are they will be more open within challenging social interactions. We are all participating in a world built on a spectrum of consciousness, opinions, sexuality, and politics and should confront how our environments shape our perceptions - which is exactly what drives my work.
View Alanis’ work in What is the Future of Furniture? PART I | Opening September 14th 7-9P