Morgan Thomas Shankweiler
Tender Buttons

Site Specific

Commissioned | Professional

Why did you make this work:
"Tender Buttons" was commissioned by composer Jordan Nelson as visual complement to his work of the same name and was inspired by the poems of Gertrude Stein. This interpretation realizes 14 of Stein's poems as the sour reflections of a woman who is alone and mercurial. In this way Tender Buttons resembles a one-act opera for soprano voice; the music and paintings together tell a story.

How was the illustration used:
The 14 illustrations in this project, of which I have included 4 detailed images, are intended for projection behind quartet and soprano during any performance of composer Jordan Nelson's "Tender Buttons". The images are projected in sequence to match the 14 movements of the musical piece and add whimsy. A performance of the work with images is included at the URL link provided.

How did you make this work:
All originals (14 works) are 14"x5" highly detailed gouache paintings on Indian Wasli Paper. These images were professionally photographed and are projected behind the performers each time the musical composition is performed. In this way, it is site specific to the music venue in which Tender Buttons is being performed, for the performance only.

Commissioner Name :
Jordan Nelson
Commissioner Company :
Jordan Nelson Music

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Morgan Thomas Shankweiler lives and works in Swarthmore, PA. Her work examines the minutia of time, memory and story through contemporary still-life and portraiture. She is particularly intrigued by the impact of social truths, perception and meaning on our way of telling stories of motherhood, womanhood and sisterhood in historical and social context. She is an avid collector of skill-sets.