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Ephemeral Sculpture Inspired by Dance

By Robin Pierson, Special to the Independent

Karen Feur-Schwager and two of her sculptures made of tea bag paper, which inspired the choreography in an upcoming performance of the Boulder Ballet.

Karen Feur-Schwager and two of her sculptures made of tea bag paper, which inspired the choreography in an upcoming performance of the Boulder Ballet.

Local artist Karen Feuer-Schwager has transformed humble used tea bags into the inspiration for the choreography, costumes and sets in an upcoming dance performance by the Boulder Ballet.

For the last few years, Feuer-Schwager, an experimental artist who works on unusual materials, has been creating garment like sculptures made of tea bag paper coated with polymers. After carefully removing the bags’ strings and emptying the tea in the compost pile, Feuer-Schwager flattens the naturally pigmented paper on a high density board that she has sketched on. The up to seven-feet long strips absorb the graphite drawings and are then coated and woven into pieces resembling dresses and shawls.

A persistent back problem led Feuer-Schwager to Jayne Persch, a dancer, choreographer and movement therapist. While working to relieve Feuer-Schwager’s back pain, the two explored melding music, dance and visual art. Feuer-Schwager’s “Garmentalization Project,” in which she transformed tea bags into garment-like pieces, intrigued the choreographer and led Persch to develop dances based on the ephemeral sculptures.

Images of Feuer-Schwager’s sculptures will be projected behind the dancers whose costumes will resemble the actual pieces. Persch’s and Feuer-Schwager’s collaboration will be performed from Feb. 15-17 during the “Stepping Out 2013,” the annual concert of original dance/theater works held at the Dairy Art Center in Boulder, Colo.

More examples of Feuer-Schwager’s unique work can be seen at www.kfartist.com and were including in the Laguna Art Museum’s Art Auction last Saturday, Feb. 9.

 

Laguna Beach writer Robin Pierson focuses on local subjects.

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