Interview with Maureen Cavanaugh

Pooja Kakar: What are you planning to present for “DiA on the LILAC”?

Maureen Cavanaugh: I plan on creating a comfortable space where the work is the bed as well as my paintings installed in each bunk. The idea is that this is someone’s small space and contains what they chose to share and keep close to themselves.

PK: How are you planning on utilizing the unique space on the LILAC to showcase your work/create an experience for the viewer?

MC: Since the room I have is a sleeping cabin I am going to work with it as a domestic space. I am planning on sewing together fabrics to make a slipcovers on tri-foldout foam cushions. They will be layed flat on the bunk beds so visitors can sit and lie down on them, but when they are folded they will function more as an object. The walls are magnetic so I am planning on installing paintings and drawings with magnets that I will also paint, draw and collage on. The paintings and drawings with focus around water and created mementos. I am also trying to learn how to make knots.

PK: Could you explain your process—from the inception of an idea to its execution in an exhibit, in greater detail?

MC: I have visited the ship a few times, learning a bit about the LILAC and its function as a lighthouse tender, and since then I have been working around what can be created there. I have worked with water themes before so it is a nice fit for my paintings.

PK: How similar or different will this be to your previous exhibitions?

MC: This is the most site-specific project I have done. The space is definitely informing my process, but it feels very familiar. Living in funny apartments in Brooklyn, I have taken to decorating the spaces as an extension of my art work. My studio is in my home so everything is connected, and my paintings often deal with interior themes.

PK: What projects are you currently working on?

MC: Later this summer I will begin working on a small edition artist book.

PK:  Who would you say you have been influenced by?

MC:  For this project I have been looking at a lot of textile books, in particular Louise Bourgeois Fabric works. Bourgeois work has helped me make the connection from my painting to collaging materials together. I have also been looking at bed projects that other artists have done, including Tracey Emin, Mike Kelley and Ai Weiwei.

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