The Making of Chris Ryniak & Amanda Louise Spayd's 'Migration' Part 3: Cold-Cast Critters

With Migration opening at Stranger Factory a week Friday (can ya believe it?!), it's time to have a look at the real meat an' potatoes of this exhibition: the critters! Between the customs, collaborations, original plush and sculpted monsters waddling their way to Albuquerque, there's a TON to cover, so this will be the first of three parts.

To keep with Migration's themes of exploration and risk taking, we're going to take a peek at an exciting artistic endeavour that Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd embarked on together: casting their own wall sculptures. Now these two are no strangers to mold-making: Chris started dabbling with casting his critters last year with the Nuggleworts, and Mandi has always cast the resin faces for her sack rabbits. But the wall hanging format? Entirely new, as are some of their chosen materials.

For the show, Chris and Mandi have each cast a covey of 6"x 9"(ish) wall mountable critters utilizing a ton of fun ingredients for us magpie types: cold-cast brass, copper, nickel, resin and a more porous, "concrete-esque" material (to steal Mandi's term). The GID is particularly impressive; a clear resin infused with green glow powder, these critters look borderline radioactive and to echo Chris's sentiments, it really DOES look like they're making Ninja Turtles! Cowabunga, baby, this show just keeps getting better!

And if there's one thing that we love about Amanda, as awful as this may sound, it's her penchant for self punishment. She will sew a critter that's nearly three feet tall and then feel compelled to decorate him with hand-cast metals and buttons. Or she'll make one rabbit and think, "Hey, I should totally make this a run of 50" (upon which we hear no signs of life save for the squeak of her Vesta for weeks on end). Well, the case is the same for her wall critter, whom she decided to endow with the frilliest Sunday dress on the planet. I mean, there's gotta be, what, 50 perfect scallops on that thing? AND a bow?! Someone give the girl a hand massage, this stuff is gohgeous!

Migration is a two-person collaborative exhibition featuring new works from Chris Ryniak and Amanda Louise Spayd. The show opens March 1st through the 31st at Stranger Factory (109 Carlisle Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106). Opening reception will be held March 1st from 6pm to 9pm; both artists will be in attendance!

For earlier instalments in the Making of Migration series, see Part I and Part II!

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