Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
I grew up in Vancouver, Canada and returned here three years ago after 10 years away. My time away included stretches of time in Portland, OR, Detroit, MI, and Toronto, ON, following various academic pursuits of both myself and my husband.
What is the inspiration of your Corpus series?
My work has always been inspired to some degree by the human body. My objects and 2D work often starts with a specific body-related theme (e.g., prostheses, technology and the body, etc.), that I abstract through form, and/or materials. This series began in a similar manner, with the investigation of organ diseases.
How do these works come about? Do you start with sketches?
I didn’t sketch out these works specifically, though I did complete many anatomical drawings of healthy and diseased digestive organs. My work is very process driven - I delve into the making, let go, and see where it takes me.
You work with unusual materials in this series: batting, giant pins and fill. Why not use fabric or the hardened mixed-media used in other series?
I had wanted to work with a malleable material when I came across the bamboo batting. I was attracted to its soft texture and empathetic quality. I felt compelled to cut it up and sew the pieces together in a random way; before I knew it I was making forms that were organ-like with arterial connections. Once complete, it was important that they took on a specimen-type quality, which was achieved when I hung them from the hand forged, cast-iron pins.
How do you respond to viewers’ reaction to your work, particularly the unsettling, or bordering-on-grotesque, elements in your work?
I think the juiciest parts of life are driven by attraction and repulsion. When people share their reactions and impressions of my work, it gives me insight on who they are - I really enjoy hearing what viewers think.
What are your hopes and goals for 2013?
I’m a maker and just want to make and make and make. A few shows would be nice too!
Fei Disbrow's website.