Student finds relief in making wire art


Kaitlyn Regan – Special to the Southern News

Justin Farmer, political science and biology major, said art is a way for him to release his body’s tension. Farmer said he has Tourette Syndrome and in order to release tension, his body will do different things.

“I’ll say nonsensical words; I’ll make weird movements,” he said. “I’ll also curse. I have mechanical tics, which is me doing physical things and phonic tics, which is anything moving through the windpipe, so saying words.”

During his senior year of high school, Farmer said he was fidgety and needed something to do in class to pay attention. Farmer said after he received a spool of wire from his art teacher, he began making things with it. He started off by making the top of a flower which eventually progressed into complete, wire roses. Farmer said he’s made flowers, butterflies, dragonflies, and a bust of his own head.

Emmett Farnsworth-Guzmán, Farmer’s friend, said he remembers when Farmer first started making wire flowers. Around the time Farmer began to realize he had Tourette’s Farnsworth-Guzmán said, was when he picked up the spool of wire.

“He was having a lot of mechanical tics, he just needed something to keep his hands busy. Messing with wire was just a perfect fit,” he said.

Art should speak to everyone and be inclusive, Farmer said. Someone doesn’t have to be an art major when it comes to understanding art, Farmer said, everyone should be able to get the message.

“You have artists who live on the top floor of a penthouse, who have everything in the world and you have graffiti artists and artists who draw people’s faces or draw landscapes for a living and sell them for $20,” he said.

Farmer also takes photographs and said it’s interesting to see how spaces change throughout time. When it comes to photography, Justin said he loves taking pictures of everything, but his favorite are landscapes.

“I love landscapes because it sets the scene without people being there. It allows you to see the potential of a space,” he said.

Aside from photographing landscapes, Farmer said he recently started a gentrification research project and wants to create a digital history project. The history project would entail an online map to hover over with pins of information attached to every location. Each pin would have audio or visual information.

Photojournalism, Farmer said, is something he would like to do in the future. Farmer said he attended a Trump and Bernie Sanders rally, as well as the Calhoun rally that occurred at Yale.

Scott Marks, Farmer’s friend, said he is able to take pictures and capture a moment people could look back on at these events.

Farmer said it would be awesome if he could do art as a career and live off his artwork.

“I like activism. I like just being out there, whether it’s for the environment, for jobs, for this or that, I love to do that,” he said. “As an artist, that gives you more free time to do art that is related to those struggles.”

Photo Courtesy: Kaitlyn Regan – Special to the Southern News

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