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Artist Wendy Mike suspends packing tape casts of bodies in new show

May 1, 2014 Updated: May 1, 2014 at 9:29 am
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photo - Artist Wendy Mike works in her Colorado Springs studio Thursday, March 27, 2014, while preparing for her show beginning May 2, 2014, at the Kreuser Gallery in Colorado Springs. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Artist Wendy Mike works in her Colorado Springs studio Thursday, March 27, 2014, while preparing for her show beginning May 2, 2014, at the Kreuser Gallery in Colorado Springs. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

Work by Wendy Mike, opening reception 5-8 p.m. Friday, runs through May 31, Kreuser Gallery, 218 W. Colorado Ave., free; 339-1524.

 

One peek into local artist Wendy Mike's studio and her fascination with the human body is apparent.

Life-size human shapes created from packing tape dangle from the ceiling, climb the walls and peer from behind the couch.

"I love the material," she says. "I love the body in motion."

That love inspired her latest exhibit, "Embody: Offerings of Dimensional Soul," which opens Friday in the Kreuser Gallery during First Friday ArtWalk downtown.

Finding people willing to come to her studio and spend three hours getting their bodies wrapped in tape wasn't difficult. In the 18 months Mike spent on the project, she worked with seven models, including her 82-year old mom, an 18-year old friend of her son and assorted yoga practitioners.

Each person was wrapped using four rolls of tape, she says. She worked in sections, wrapping the torso, shoulders and chest, the legs and the head. Then, she cut the tape with surgical scissors, let the cast slip off the person and reassembled the sections to form each gossamer figure.

"I've only seen the body really in motion in a flat photo," she says. "This is 3D, but the material is such that it allows that sense of a moment in time. It's so ethereal and the whole show is about the body as the container of the soul."

Jennifer Mulson, The Gazette, 636-0270, jen.mulson@gazette.com

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