We had the good fortune of connecting with Rebecca Pipkin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rebecca, how do you think about risk?
I have always thought of risk as an inevitable aspect of pursuing a creative career. Even when we are unaware of risk, it is present in everything we do. As an artist, I have grown to become more comfortable with risk, accepting that it is a vital part of the creative/making process. There is great risk in moving beyond what I know or what I feel comfortable with. However when I am able to accept it, it often breeds better results.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am is a visual artist working across various mediums and pursuing a Master in Fine Art at Arizona State University. I earned a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Oklahoma. Having lived a transient life, I am influenced by the places and homes I has loved and lost. My work explores themes of memory, displacement, and belonging through materials I find and collect. Using remnants of place, I strives to capture the viewer in a suspended moment in time that can bring them to a remembered or imagined space. Through remnants, I aim to investigate the role materials play in our human experience of place, past and present. Displacement can create a new space for exploration and imagination through the ever-potent remnants left behind. Through collecting and caring for discarded and displaced materials such as old fabric, wallpaper, architectural elements from abandoned homes, found objects and organic material, I reimagine what these materials can be through creating tensions of displaced-togetherness. All these materials have lives and histories embedded within them as they recorded and witnessed the spaces and places they previously inhabited. My work comes to life in the metaphorical space between memories and materials and blurs the line between what is past and what is present, what is transient and what is permanent. The natural, physical and architectural spaces in which we create our lives are temporary. Our memories are fragmented and fragile. This means that many of us find ourselves displaced within our own narratives. That is why I make my work; it is a way of transcending the absences by channeling it into work that shows us how far we have come, the pieces we have carried with us, and how we are truly able to carry on and rebuild. Ultimately, I strive to make work that breeds human connection and community by highlighting our common experiences.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being relatively new to the Phoenix Area, I have had the absolute pleasure of getting to know this wonderful city and it’s surrounding landscapes. In sharing this place with others, I would absolutely start with all of the wonderful hiking available here. A sunrise hike up Piestawa Peak, South Mountain, or Lost Dutchman State park would be a wonderful way to start the day. A Saturday morning Farmers Market outing followed by coffee and pastries at Lux on Central. An afternoon happy hour on the at Gallo Blanco for the freshest margaritas would round out a really great day in the Phoenix area.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As an artist and sculpture, I have to credit the artists/teachers that have pushed me to make better and more meaningful work. Artist and professor Daren Kendall has been a wonderful mentor and supporter. He has consistently encouraged me to make the best work I can make and think deeply about my process and the materials I use. I am so grateful for his guidance, critique, and support over the last few years.