EcoArtSpace

There’s Something About the Environment

Submitted by ecoartspace member Chris Costan

Mission Statement from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation: Our vision is to create and sustain thriving parks and public spaces for New Yorkers. Our mission is to plan resilient and sustainable parks, public spaces, and recreational amenities, build a park system for present and future generations, and care for parks and public spaces.

Madison Square Park is a jewel of nature surrounded by beauties of historic architecture such as the Flatiron Building. This happy combination makes for a spectacular location, especially for me, as I live one block away. It is a refuge from the endless cement of my beloved city. The surrounding neighborhood has become highly desirable, and the park is well-funded as an open-air cultural destination. According to the Parks Department, Madison Square” inspires dialogue and reflection.” Since 2004, Madison Park Conservancy has featured rotating outdoor public artworks.

The latest, Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest, a grouping of forty-nine Atlantic white cedar trees, elegantly and urgently delivers a climate crisis message. It is the first public art project in Madison Square Park that I embrace with gratitude. A ghost forest is the remains of a dead woodland that was once alive. Endangered Forests worldwide include white cedar populations of the East Coast. The extreme weather events of climate change produce devastation along with lumbering practices that plundered these trees. The cedars in Ghost Forest were cleared to renew the fragile ecosystem of the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. An auditory component of Ghost Forest involves the sounds of animal and bird species which were once common to this island, known as Mannahatta by the Lenni Lenape tribe. Ultimately, Lin’s project is a lamentation on the trees and species that are now all but gone.

Representing nature today is not easy for the artist, who sees nature being recreated everyday by the likes of geneticists, computer programmers, and real estate developers.–Jeffrey Deitch, Artificial Nature (1990)

Despite this frightening message of destruction, Lin’s installation holds a serene beauty and provides a natural harmony to the oval lawn.  Birds and squirrels are already nesting in Lin’s “forest” because the installation seamlessly blends with the park. Ghost Forest is the first of the rotating art pieces that address the cataclysmic effect that humanity has rendered on the environment. In essence, Lin says, “Let’s talk about this problem.” I say, “Madison Square Park Conservancy, “let us continue to be inspired to dialogue and reflect on Ghost Forest for as long as possible. The environmental problems are too important to be held to arbitrary and disturbing schedule of artistic rotation.”

Rotating giant public artworks are inherently disruptive to the residential nature of the park. The dramatic disruption of small park life when countless times, teams of workers and sizeable intrusive machinery deinstall one piece of art and install another cannot be overstated. Walkways are cordoned off for weeks to remove the old artwork and replace it with a new generally giant metal public art. Holes dug, grass destroyed, habitat dug up and reworked endlessly, traumatizing flora and fauna, most noticeably our birds and squirrels.

Madison Square Park’s public art installations have not been congruent to Maya Lin’s message. Lin’s installation coexists with the nature of the park and is both subtle and shattering. She has created a relevant and high-quality piece of public art while remaining respectful to the environment—and it’s a reminder of what we will lose if we continue along this path of the destruction of our environment. I don’t want more corten steel unless it remains in the park and allows the park’s fauna to make use of it. Useless corten steel projects are counterintuitive. In an era of worldwide awareness of climate change, pollution, and the effect on the earth, our only home.

We in New York could provide a model for other cities, increasing recognition of impending ecological catastrophe. Why not carefully select a unique and artful public art project that harmonizes with the park’s natural ecosystem? The destruction and displacement of plant and animal life are typical of what is happening across the world. Large steel installations placed in controlled nature for  “reflection and discourse” are part of the problem. Why should we continue to do this in Madison Square Park in the name of art? Let us choose a fitting art piece that can remain to speak to us of what is most important. Future generations can choose another to match their most pressing needs.

I suggest that we place a permanent installation that blends harmoniously with the environment in the park. Let the destruction end now with a piece that speaks directly to it: Lin’s Ghost Forest could be that choice. 

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ecoartapace was conceived in 1997 by Patricia Watts in Los Angeles. In 1999, Watts partnered with east coast curator Amy Lipton, operating as a nonprofit under the umbrella of SEE, the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in California. 2019 marked twenty years that Watts and Lipton have curated art and ecology programs, participating on panels and giving lectures internationally. Combined, they have curated over sixty art and ecology exhibitions, many outdoors in collaboration with artists creating site-specific works. They have worked with over one thousand artists from across the United States, and some internationally. Starting 2020, ecoartspace became an LLC membership organization based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

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CREATORS: Interview with Holly Fay

In ALLCREATORS by McKenzie Prillaman

Which came first in your life, the science or the art?

My curiosity about the natural physical world and my desire to make and create have been unified since childhood. As a youngster, I spent much time exploring the outdoors and collecting natural materials. For example, I would gather up all the varieties of leaves I could find, then arranged my collections into notebooks. Trips to the library were treasured; I would carry an armful of natural science books home to pore over the pictures and diagrams. By good fortune, the public library also housed an art gallery. Consequently, each library expedition included a visit to the art gallery. The pull towards visual art grew stronger as my understanding of art broadened, which led me to study art at university and build a professional art practice.

Full circle—in 2015, I exhibited my work in a solo exhibition with that same gallery housed in the public library I visited as a child.

Floating Worlds series (2011) by Holly Fay, 38 x 56 cm, graphite on paper

Continue reading HERE

(Top photo: Current 4 (2021) by Holly Fay, 152.4 x 274 cm, graphite, ink on paper)

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ecoartapace was conceived in 1997 by Patricia Watts in Los Angeles. In 1999, Watts partnered with east coast curator Amy Lipton, operating as a nonprofit under the umbrella of SEE, the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in California. 2019 marked twenty years that Watts and Lipton have curated art and ecology programs, participating on panels and giving lectures internationally. Combined, they have curated over sixty art and ecology exhibitions, many outdoors in collaboration with artists creating site-specific works. They have worked with over one thousand artists from across the United States, and some internationally. Starting 2020, ecoartspace became an LLC membership organization based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

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Art Spiel: Interview with Nicole Kutz

by Etty Yaniv for Art Spiel

The Nashville based artist and curator, Nicole Kutz, meditates in her paintings on life’s transience through handmade pigments and dyes. She frequently draws on the Japanese Wabi-sabi aesthetics, as well as the artforms of shibori and kintsugi, to create ethereal abstracted worlds, where you can find beauty in imperfections.

Tell me a bit about yourself and what brought you to art.

I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA in 1991. As a child, I was wildly creative and terribly nearsighted. My strong astigmatism caused me to look at things closely and my imagination used that to its advantage to recreate the world around me. My vision issues, coupled with my introversion, did not translate well to sports, but I found my community in afterschool arts programs. Art classes provided a whole new outlet for me, where I could hide behind my drawings and let the paper speak for me.

The arts were also in my blood: my Oma was an artist and owned a gallery in Atlanta in the 1980s. I grew up visiting my Oma and Opa’s time capsule of a home, their basement filled with pieces that never sold, and I looked up to my Oma’s beautiful stories and love of art. She passed when I was 11 from a stroke and shortly after, she visited me during my first experience with sleep paralysis. She made it clear that I was meant to be in the arts and that my spirit was guided with painting. I held on to her words and still call upon that memory any time I question what brought me to making art in the first place.

That memory fueled me through a BFA from the University of Georgia and a MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. I moved to Los Angeles after graduating in 2017 and felt that the change was a necessary shift in order for me to grow personally. I worked in several fields within the arts in hopes that working in tangent with my passion would satisfy my need to paint, but no matter how hard I tried to veer away from painting, it would always call me back.

The pursuit did however open my eyes to the business aspects of art. I worked as the Chief Curator to help build an online art streaming company, as a curatorial assistant for a fine art advisor and as a gallery manager for several galleries. These experiences shaped my approach to painting and emphasized time management as a key factor in my art, which I believe informed the majority of my material choices and love of process-based work. As cliché as it sounds, art has always been my therapy. Painting is how I process memory, past traumas, fears, and dreams. Every series has its own story but it all centers around my internal struggles and the ongoing goal of staying present.

Eastern philosophies seem to play a central role in your thinking about art. How is that expressed in making your paintings?

I have always resonated with Buddhist thought and wabi-sabi aesthetics are deeply ingrained into my process. Wabi-sabi is the truth that both life and art are beautiful not because they are perfect and eternal, but because they are imperfect and fleeting. I find this liberating not only in life, but also in how I approach making art. I have learned to embrace the flaws within a work, as well as materials that are unpredictable.

I also draw inspiration from meditation, Reiki therapy, moon cycles and how all of this plays into understanding my environment. Japanese culture views the moon as a symbol of the passage of time and as the guardian of mountains. The moon frequently finds its way into my work – be it subconsciously or planned.

For several years, I have attended Reiki therapy as an outlet to process trauma. Reiki is a form of alternative medicine that originated in Japan in the 1800s in which the healer administers treatment by accessing a universal energy through their palms. During multiple hours in this meditative state, I envisioned landscapes that resemble caves, glaciers, waterfalls or otherworldly structures. I channel these landscapes through painting as I attempt to recreate my subconscious spaces. With our thoughts, we create our reality, and through my art, I realized I could make this intangible energy, tangible.

Fera Space XXXVII, 2020, 21.5” x 22.5”, Indigo on paper with book binding thread, Photo courtesy of Nicole Kutz 

Read the rest of the article on Art Spiel HERE

(Top photo: Nicole Kutz in the studio, 2020, Photo courtesy of Nicole Kutz)

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ecoartapace was conceived in 1997 by Patricia Watts in Los Angeles. In 1999, Watts partnered with east coast curator Amy Lipton, operating as a nonprofit under the umbrella of SEE, the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in California. 2019 marked twenty years that Watts and Lipton have curated art and ecology programs, participating on panels and giving lectures internationally. Combined, they have curated over sixty art and ecology exhibitions, many outdoors in collaboration with artists creating site-specific works. They have worked with over one thousand artists from across the United States, and some internationally. Starting 2020, ecoartspace became an LLC membership organization based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

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Be-coming Tree

Interview by Sally Annett

April 30, 2020 in the forest of Panovec, Nova Gorica, Slovenia, an unrobed body lies face down, on the fallen trunk of an ancient tree. Arms stretched out in front, hair falling across wood and flesh. Jatun Risba (ki/kin) is performing the first act of Be-coming Tree. Instantly reminiscent of the work by Ana Mendieta’s ‘Corazón de Roca con Sangre’ (Rock Heart with Blood) from the 1975 Silhouette series, it is a piece which also involves a ritual, shamanistic, animist style of art practice which embeds and enmeshes the human body with natural landscape in a beautiful, contemplative yet slightly distanced or abstracted way.

This was a  solitary live-streaming: a meditative, immersive hour where viewers were transported to this remote natural setting, with Risba. I interviewed Risba and the co-facilitators of the expanding Be-coming Tree events, Danielle Imara and O. Pen Be, exactly one year later, just after the fourth collective ‘Be-coming Tree’, now a quarterly annual event. This most recent Be-coming Tree took place on 24/04/2021 and simultaneously broadcast 36 ecoart performances across 6 continents and 22 countries and was a glorious celebratory ritual of humanity’s potential to co-create and connect with itself and Nature. Be-coming Tree makes this connection through a series of live, digitally transmitted, collective  performances which occur seasonally. It is a real-time, simultaneously performed, cinematic/ moving image work; each cycle of the performances matching the seasons of the year; spring, summer, autumn and winter. It unites artists globally to experience a close entanglement with trees  and be witnessed by a globally disseminated audience. It was led and created in 2020 by Risba, Imara and O. Pen Be, co-created with in excess of 71 artists in 32 countries over 6 continents at the point of writing.

Above. Be-Coming Tree 4 performance 1. Hive screen shot.

As Elizabeth McTernan writes in her recent review of ‘Future Assembly’ for the Venice Biennale Architecture, “ future imaginaries must include the more-than-human – that which both includes and exceeds humanity. The more-than-human is the many entanglements of human existence with living and nonliving entities, all of which have a stake in the planet’s future”. Risba’s work ‘Be-coming Cow,’ a dialogical moving image piece, expresses this intention loudly, along with the sense of be-ing and be-coming a single, unifying fragment of an elemental background field.

Above. Jane Corbett as part of Be-Coming Tree 4 performance 2. UK.

Risba (age 34) describes kin practice as being that of a “ transmedia artist, sower of kinship and parrhesiast exploring beyond human paradigms … Risba re-pairs Nature and Culture.” There is a freedom in kin work which expresses this ethos very boldly. Imara (age 58) and O. Pen Be (age 73) both have backgrounds in combined arts practice with a focus on body work, dance and performing arts which pulls in strands of social, therapeutic, transgressive and devotional praxis. This body-centric practice has profound philosophical roots, which have evolved through study, personal crisis and extraordinary life experience. Imara, like Risba, has what Ghislaine Boddingtoncalls a “Long-term focus on the blending of our virtual and physical bodies”.  Both are engaged in fluid temporalities and future digital and socio-psychological issues, including telematic and neuro-technical interfaces, and through which all our somatic forms and languages function, as part of an ‘entanglement’ full future. Connecting ourselves into a network, (Boddington again) a “ ‘multi-self,’ an ‘Internet of Bodies’ enabled by hyper-enhancement of the senses and tele-intuition.” Be-coming Tree expands this idea to include relation with all ‘kin’, human, animal, vegetable, mineral and spiritual, operating on a multitude of levels of ‘be-ing’ or supposed consciousness, but crucially interconnected. O. Pen Be works with the idea of the moving body as connector and witness and that these actions contain the possibilities for both sacred/ receptive and active/performative and roles and the sense of self, and that belief and identity can be scrutinized and developed for restorative purposes. All three facilitators are highly disciplined, exploratory and reflective in their approaches, using their corporeal structures as the most effective, vital and liberating medium in public and private space. Previous works like Risba’s trance dance interventions in urban spaces ‘Interesse’ (2015), Imara’s ‘Nina Silvert’s Tube’ (2011) and O. Pen Be’s startling response to COVID, ‘Touch Outlaws’ (2021) as part of  IJAD’s Open OnlineTheatre hybrid performance festival (2021) all challenge nominan behavior in broad urban and domestic environs. Be-coming Tree invites participants and audience alike to work directly with the natural world, selecting a specific object/subject; in this case ‘Tree’ as co-performer.

These three ‘kin’; Risba, Imara and O. Pen Be, together have produced what they describe as a “Grass roots community, sharing and documenting close entanglement with trees and barefoot technology through collective, global, live-streamed events,” which, describes exactly the practical and logistical aspects of Be-coming Tree. What it does not capture is the intimacy and magic of the piece, the melding of differing forms of corporeality and technology to create a hybrid chimeric being, a ‘hive’ or collective, single act. It is a digital ritual, evolving hypnotically before your eyes and ears, yet just beyond your touch. Discussing the evolution of Be-coming Tree, in the current cultural zeitgeist(s), which is in some sense being driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, the desire to be in communion with others and with the natural world is clear, and also that the public manifestation of this desire is being met, currently, through the Internet. It seems that enclaves and generations across the globe who have been steady but slow in their engagement with the digital world, perhaps only through a Skybox or Facebook, have realized that their domestic technologies can far exceed their utilitarian functions; that they are not passive screens, but connective, interactive portals to the whole of reality; physical, psychological, spiritual and divine.

Above. Kajoli llojak as part of Be-Coming Tree 4 performance 1. UK

Within the various silos of the art world this slow burn catch up is levelling out while people explore the new materials at hand and then focus back on another contemporary, arguably the most pressing, the environment. Particularly in the world of body-centred performance art and dance there has been a 180 degree rotation away from solely live, somatically present performance to generating sustainable, interactive, on-line ‘theatres’. Whilst there is still a sadness at the loss of close bodily proximity to an audience, the potential and reach of the web is vitalizing and developing existing genres of work for those of us privileged enough to have regular and high quality access to the internet. Never have human communications been so vast and encompassing.

There is an association with generational difference in the embracing of this new media, with the young’s usage of new digital knowledge (for those able globally to afford it) seemingly effortless, along with the realization that this new knowledge is process led and ever changing. For those that struggle with the TV remote control this can seem a hopeless wilderness, for which there is no time to learn the new. COVID-19 has changed this, there has been both the time and the necessity to upskill, and the Be-coming Tree facilitators, live artists and audiences are a model of intergenerational practice spanning 3 generational intervals. Our previous ease of geographical movement and physical contact  has been removed and replaced by digital freedom and mainframe intercourse. Those who had not engaged in the hundreds of thousands of on-line communities out there in the webs, have begun to do so with a great deal of excitement and energy. Artists and collectives have been working ‘on-line’ for five decades, the first (arguably) telematic work ‘The Satellite Arts Project’ was developed , delivered and documented in 1977 by artists Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz although the phrase Telematics was initially used by Simon Nora and Alain Minc in The Computerization of Society. (1)

In 2020 Annie Abrahams and Susan Fucks produced, as a digital meme, an archive, which documents the history of online performance and the hard and software which supported it from the early 1980’s. It includes  their work and that of artists like Boddington and Anne Bean, with scientifically, magically, socially and environmentally fused lived works, such as Bean’s ‘Come Hell or High Water,’ 2020, which also looks at a ‘calendar’ of collective events which comprise an annual whole and who have been pushing the boundaries of human techno and eco interactive performance since the 1908’s. The canon of female performance artists that includes Laurie Anderson, Adrian Piper and Marina Abramovic challenge stereotype and oppression through the use of archetypal form and (the) word. In the 1980’s and 90’s Starr Goode archived and recorded a series called, ‘The Goddess in Art’, which chronicled work by environmental, philosophical, theosophical and performance artists/activists such as StarHawk, Vicki Noble, Cheri Gaulke, Mayumi Oda and Barbara T.Smith (1960’s/70’s) as part of the early 1990’s revival of academic interest in their works.

Above. Hive shot of Be-Coming Tree 4 performance 2.

These artists ride on the wave of permission to take up public space negotiated by women like Marjory Cameron and Ursula Le Guin in the post WW2 years, who hark back to female figures in history who feature only largely in literature and comparative religion from the perspective of empire and enlightenment. This is not to dismiss the work of the Land Art Movements; the symbiotic pieces and dialogical works of artists like Nancy Holt,  Andy Goldsworthy or Richard Long, or politically affiliated organisations such as Greenpeace and X-tinction Rebellion, nor to continue to focus on gender and sex-based divides in contemporary practice. The work of Be-coming a Tree is part of a continuum which includes ecofeminists/ecoartists such as Marta Soriano and radical social artists like SpiderAlex, and which is ever broadening, ever ‘entangling’. However, a certain public/media unease or suspicion is evident when a female artist like Abramovic is  pilloried in social media (2020) as a witch and/or Satanist (whatever that may be) for deeply spiritual, ecological, science and technology based work; the fear of the antinomian feminine remains clear.

These ‘silos’ of body and nature-related art works have historically been entirely bound up with the usage, barriers and luxuries of public and private space. COVID-19’s limitation of access to shared space and intimacy with others has been a fascinating experiment in social engineering where – by necessity – gathering in public places has been largely forbidden, movement of peoples constrained, loved ones lost and buried in separation. The intrusion into our private spaces is also unprecedented, and our ways of being, our personal and collective protocols and thinking radically altered. We have been largely compliant but only, possibly, because we have been supported by an ethernet of connectivity.

Above. Still of Colectivo EnHebra from Be-Coming Tree 4 performance 3. Chile

In Be-coming Tree we are witnessing a quiet new collaboration which is a commixture of land-art, performance art, dance and digital art which acknowledges the posthuman and transhuman and addresses our critical environmental tragedy head on, with each small step it takes towards creating a ritual for unity; it is eco-magical, socio-scientific and deeply sincere.

Risba, locked down in rural Slovenia, unable to return to London, was aware of those millions of people in flats, tower blocks and cities around the world who were in effect imprisoned and who had had their vital, if minimal connections with Nature severed. That the physical and psychological impacts on health and spirit are enormous, especially for young children is clear, and all three artists work with a schema of healing and therapeutic benefit through performance, movement and the physical senses. The Be-coming Tree team acknowledge having worked through health and spiritual crises and hold a depth of knowledge of meditative and philosophical traditions. This regenerative practice is developed further by the project to embrace the natural world; all ticket sales from the Be-coming Tree events go to the Tree Sisters organisation, each ticket equating to a tree planted in the Amazon Tropical forests.  This internet collaboration is a  form of environmental and health activism. It again shares the zeitgeist with the growing number of companies and collectives, like ‘Effective Altruism’, ’80,000 Hours’  and ‘Othernetworks.org’, who are working in very different manners but with the shared  ambition to enhance global connectivity and community, and improve the efficacy of collaboration through the internet.

I was connected to the project by artist curator Rob La Frenais, (who also introduced Imara and Risba) as a performer in the second collective Be-coming Tree, and (with La Frenais) acted as the live blog respondent to the most recent, fourth ‘hive’ performance. The experience of viewer, performer and respondent is each completely different and immersive; as a performer you are almost introspective, engrossed in your own activity. As an audience member you can drift through and sit with pinned or multi-screens selecting what you view, knowing you will miss certain elements and allowing yourself to be led by individuals through the maze of panels, or hypnotized by the faceted screen. As respondent, engaging; trying to comprehend and describe the event and each actor within the whole was overwhelming.

The work is so rich in content, meaning and hope, additionally it would be almost impossible to watch the over 120 hours of performance footage in an analogue sitting. It is a fantastical myriad of international players, each interacting with and ‘Be-coming Tree’ bringing a particular body, a vital energy and weaving a particularly soulful imagining towards the futurtopia we must build.

Above. Gina Ben David as part of Be-Coming Tree 4 performance 2. Israel.

To see the performances and discover more about Be-coming Tree go to : https://becomingtree.live/

The entire live response to Be-coming Tree 4 part 1 can be read here :
www.atelierdemelusine.com/new-blog/2021/5/16/be-coming-tree-4-240421

Endnotes

1) Simon Nora and Alain Minc, The Computerization of Society (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1980): 4-5.

Ascott, Roy. (2003). Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology, and Consciousness. (Ed.) Edward A. Shanken. Berkeley, CA:University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-21803-1

Carl Eugene Loeffler and Roy Ascott, Chronology and Working Survey of Select Communications Activity in Leonardo (Journal of Leonardo/ISAST, the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology), vol. 24, N° 2, 1991, p. 236.


Glossary
Parrhesiast : a person who speaks freely and boldly.

Sally Annett
Association ATELIER MELUSINE 4 Rue de Trupet France 86290
www.atelierdemelusine.com

Open Call for Artists

(Top image: Risba as part of Be-Coming Tree 2020. Slovenia.)

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ecoartapace was conceived in 1997 by Patricia Watts in Los Angeles. In 1999, Watts partnered with east coast curator Amy Lipton, operating as a nonprofit under the umbrella of SEE, the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in California. 2019 marked twenty years that Watts and Lipton have curated art and ecology programs, participating on panels and giving lectures internationally. Combined, they have curated over sixty art and ecology exhibitions, many outdoors in collaboration with artists creating site-specific works. They have worked with over one thousand artists from across the United States, and some internationally. Starting 2020, ecoartspace became an LLC membership organization based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico

Tree Talk: Artists Speak for Trees

Thursday, June 24, 2021

United States: 3pm PT, 4pm MT, 5pm CT, 6pm ET

Australia: 8am AEST

Melinda Hurst Frye, Tony Bellaver, Narelle Carter-Quinlan, Pamela Pauline

For our June Tree Talk, four outstanding ecoartspace artists will share their ideas and photo-based works about trees and forests. Melinda Hurst Frye will speak on themes of ecology and place in her photographs of the churning Pacific Northwest landscape floor, the land of the Coast Salish people. Tony Bellaver will present his recent photo project “Resource Extraction” and mixed media books and sculptures, which examine and confront the anthropocentric practice of forest clear cutting. Anatomist and histologist, Narelle Carter-Quinlan will share her experiences of her body as part of the living fabric of Country (tree skin – my skin – Australian skin) and embodied ecology of Place. Pamela Pauline will discuss “Fragile Beauty, Rich and Rare” and “On the Brink,” her works created entirely of flora and fauna endemic to Australia and listed as rare, vulnerable or endangered.

Tree Talk is moderated by Sant Khalsa, ecofeminist artist and activist, whose work has focused on critical environmental and societal issues including forests and watersheds for four decades.

Co-sponsored by Joshua Tree Center for Photographic Arts

Members and one guest are free. General Public can attend for a $10. Capacity is 100 participants. All participants MUST REGISTER.

REGISTER

Artists chronicle climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic

Working in various media, they’re capturing the full glory of rapidly changing places.

by Kristen Pope May 12, 2021 for Yale Climate Connections

Rising 20,310 feet above sea level, Alaska’s Denali is the tallest mountain in North America, and when it is fully visible – a relative rarity since it frequently is enshrouded in cloud – the mass of rock and ice is mesmerizing.

The mountain was out in its full glory when renowned environmental photographer Kerry Koepping was trekking in its foothills a decade ago, but instead of staring up at the stunning mountain, he was transfixed by what he saw beneath his feet. The soft, pillowy tundra, dotted with blueberry bushes and other groundcover, was gathered in strange geometric mounds all along the ridge above the treeline.

He realized these hypnotic patterns in the ground were “polygon hummocks” caused by cyclical melting and refreezing of permafrost – a troubling sign of a warming world. His curiosity about the geometric display overwhelmed him, and he pointed his camera lens downward, capturing images that would give rise to the Arctic Arts Project, of which he is now director.

Artists ‘educate and inspire’ with backing of science

Using visual imagery as a powerful tool, the project helps scientists explain concepts like the troubling phenomenon of melting permafrost. It helps them also inform people who may not realize these captivating mounds of tundra are actually part of a cycle releasing carbon into the atmosphere. The results of those releases include hastening the melting of glaciers, raising sea levels, and bringing floods to Miami and other sun-drenched coastal cities where the tundra is the furthest thing from most people’s minds.

The project has created an opportunity for Koepping and other artists to allow their work, as the arts project describes it, to “educate and inspire, and to provide an understanding of the evolution of a warming world, through impactful imagery, backed by the most current science.”

Arctic Arts Project photographers travel with science teams around the world, capturing images of sea ice, glaciers, old growth forests, carbon sequestration, forest fires, and other signs of the toll that climate change is taking on the Arctic and other deeply vulnerable locations.

“There are absolutely dramatic visuals that are happening all over the world,” Koepping says.

On one expedition, Koepping’s team sought to provide an atmospheric scientist with visual evidence of methane – a colorless gas. After some contemplation, they ultimately decided to capture images of methane bubbling up in lakes in high alpine and polar regions, freezing in beautiful, exquisite patterns.

“Most people really don’t want to understand 10,000 data bits of any specific thing, but if you can put it in a visual term, that science can come to life,” Koepping says.

“We take the science from a 30,000 foot [perspective] and then try and drill down and get an understanding, not only of what it looks like, and why it’s relevant, but how does it apply?” Koepping says. “Why is methane so much of an issue to somebody in California? To someone in Colorado? In Rio de Janeiro? Why is it relevant to everyone’s life? We’re the interpreters of the science.”

Koepping thinks back to a time he was in Greenland by the Eqi Glacier, watching the glacier face calve off at an unprecedented rate. In the evening, the team retreated to their tents, but the calving continued, with thunderous booms throughout the night: Koepping described them as cannons going off every 10 minutes all night long.

“From a dramatic standpoint, ice loss is huge,” Koepping says. “It can be overwhelming emotionally when our teams are on the ground and seeing something year after year, or even within the context of a season. It’s very riveting to see ice loss in gigatons. You’re just struck by the magnitude of what you’re witnessing.”

Sharing those emotions and the importance of climate change is key to Koepping: “We try to bring the environment or subject to life and really give people an understanding of climate chaos, and, maybe more importantly, how it’s relevant to their own individual lives.”

Antarctica Artists and Writers Collective

All around the globe, artists are capturing their fears, worries, and hopes about climate change through their art.  On the other side of the world, for instance, the Antarctic Artists and Writers Collective is helping to chronicle how climate change is compromising the integrity of the frozen continent. The group showcases the work of National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program alumni. That program brings artists to the southern continent’s scientific research stations to spend time in the field and portray their experiences creatively. They use mediums ranging from visual art to poetry, composition, videography, scientific illustration, graphic novels, writing, and more.

Thirteen previous program participants teamed up to put together a virtual show called “Adequate Earth: Artists and Writers in Antarctica.” It began early in 2021 and is scheduled to conclude in May, though exhibits may stay online beyond the closing date.

Ulrike Heine is Adequate Earth’s curator. Her Ph.D. thesis focused on climate change-related imagery, and in 2018 she curated a climate change related exhibit focusing on the Arctic Ocean.

“We have all the science data, which is so interesting, and it’s so hard for people to get the full picture and to understand what that actually means for their lives,” Heine says. “And art can do a lot. There are so many artistic practices, a whole range and spectrum that can bring up these questions and discuss them in a very different way, an emotionalized way, and a way that’s more tangible, more approachable using visual imagery.”

Helen Glazer is one of the artists participating in the show. She traveled to Antarctica from late 2015 to early 2016 during the austral summer season, exploring ice and rock formations, an ice cave, a penguin colony, and “blood falls” with unusual orange stains on the ice.

“I was constantly just blown away by the immensity of it, and just how utterly alien it is” Glazer says. “It’s so different from any other place that you can be. There are no plants, no trees, and there’s none of the usual landmarks that we use to understand distance … You just realize it’s this experience of vastness, I think [that] was something very memorable.”

Continue reading here

(Top photo: Nature’s art found in the science of climate chaos. Polygon Hummocks in Denali foothills. (Photo credit: Kerry Koepping))

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ecoartapace was conceived in 1997 by Patricia Watts in Los Angeles. In 1999, Watts partnered with east coast curator Amy Lipton, operating as a nonprofit under the umbrella of SEE, the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in California. 2019 marked twenty years that Watts and Lipton have curated art and ecology programs, participating on panels and giving lectures internationally. Combined, they have curated over sixty art and ecology exhibitions, many outdoors in collaboration with artists creating site-specific works. They have worked with over one thousand artists from across the United States, and some internationally. Starting 2020, ecoartspace became an LLC membership organization based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

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Particulate Rugs of Madelaine Corbin

TATTER issue 2 : Earth
Blue Plant Soil Dust Hope

Particulate Rugs of Madelaine Corbin

“Blue. Plant. Soil. Dust. Hope,” conceptual artist Madelaine Corbin answers, when asked about undercurrents that unify her different bodies of work. An aggregate of pigment, particles, living matter and aspiration permeate the work, asking us to question the boundaries which define things like ‘home,’ ‘value,’ ‘empathy,’ and our escalating crisis of climate change.

One example is a group of stenciled floor works. While each visually signifies a carpet, they aren’t woven, or even made of fiber.  Corbin’s rugs are a purposeful dusting of matter (ash, dust, pigment), temporarily delineating a space on the floor, and representing the traditional domestic object. As we encounter them, we become acutely aware of our bodies in space and the potential effects of our movements. Excessive sway of an arm or skirt might stir a wind great enough to alter the work. A misstep could be devastating.

Surprisingly, Corbin is delighted by these unforeseen calamities. For this artist, the work lies in the ‘happening.’ Installation, deinstallation, even accidental rupture, are active, living moments that more accurately represent her concepts than do their periods of stasis on a gallery floor.  A goal in the work is often to engage nature – but nature as collaborator, rather than subject. No matter how deliberate these floor offerings might be, their passive state is only a fragment of the idea.

Continue here

———-

ecoartapace was conceived in 1997 by Patricia Watts in Los Angeles. In 1999, Watts partnered with east coast curator Amy Lipton, operating as a nonprofit under the umbrella of SEE, the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in California. 2019 marked twenty years that Watts and Lipton have curated art and ecology programs, participating on panels and giving lectures internationally. Combined, they have curated over sixty art and ecology exhibitions, many outdoors in collaboration with artists creating site-specific works. They have worked with over one thousand artists from across the United States, and some internationally. Starting 2020, ecoartspace became an LLC membership organization based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

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Mineral House Media: Interview with Dawn Roe

My work explores lens-based practice as a mode of representation allowing for poetic and critical  engagement with culturally charged sites of significance, as well as those presumed to be neutral.  The resulting imagery is at once metaphoric and banal, emphasizing the arbitrary relevance of the  distinct forms pictured. Combining a documentary approach with direct intervention, my process  incorporates multiple reproductive methods including digital imaging, film, and video. Sensitive to  the role of the camera in contributing to the proliferation of familiar, constructed images of  landscape, I made a deliberate decision in recent years to incorporate (potentially) less mediated  photographic processes including cyanotype prints and other UV-based contact exposure  methods. 

Working between and within the still and moving image, my projects examine the role of these  media in shaping personal and social understandings of our environment through site-responsive  engagement. Drawing on conventions of photography and cinema as emblematic of archived  experience, the premise of evidentiary authenticity is deliberately probed via found and fabricated  situations that are traced, replicated and transformed. Expansive presentation modes place  sequential and composite imagery in relation as imperfectly contiguous screen-based and print  forms, stressing the fragmentary nature of perceptual response. The ephemeral state implied by  the time-based recording of physical elements is distinct from the printed reproduction – a stable  frame that persists, suggesting all matter is sound enough to endure inevitable and relentless  shifts, however benign or catastrophic. This approach purposefully unravels our collective  understanding of the perceived world – and by extension, our struggle to orient ourselves within  a shared global space that is rapidly transforming.

-Dawn Roe

Mineral House Media: What is your history as an artist? Where did you first find your passion or inspiration to create? What brought to you where you are now?

Dawn Roe: Hmm…such a tough one. I didn’t necessarily grow up thinking I wanted to be an artist, but was always just pretty curious about the world, generally – lots of looking and thinking, and questioning from a young age, I guess. From my late teenage years to mid-twenties I took a pretty meandering path that eventually led me away from my home state of Michigan to Portland, Oregon where I would live for 10 years in the 1990s and end up completing my undergraduate degree in art at a small college with a really strong BFA program just outside Portland called Marylhurst. I found my way to Marylhurst via the Northwest Film Center where I was initially studying experimental cinema. They had a cooperative program with Marylhust, which worked out great for me. The faculty in both of these programs had a profound impact on me and remain mentors and friends.

That decade in Portland was a transformative time for me, and certainly shaped my ideas around art and artmaking. My formal education was juxtaposed with the DIY culture embedded in my shared community of punk and indie musicians, writers, zine makers – artists of every variety really. There was fantastic energy and joy, but there was a flipside as well. Many of us struggled with mental health and substance abuse issues, and there was loss along the way. During my final year of undergraduate study, I made the decision to leave Portland and began applying to grad school. As I was already 30 years old at the time, going right into grad school made sense for me, as I was eager to work with a new group of faculty and fellow artists and just really needed to leave Portland. This decision turned out to be the right one, as my three years in the Studio Art MFA program at Illinois State University were equally pivotal, bringing me to a healthier mental and physical space. It was here my focus shifted from working with photography in a more traditional, documentary style to a more expansive mode that led me to begin staging works and considering working with the moving image again.

MHM: What sort of music do you like to listen to? Does it directly inform the vocal sound components of some of your work?

DR: Like most people, it’s a pretty wide variety, but I do tend to veer between extremes – from intensely bombastic and scream-y to more somber, melancholy and melodic sorts. I worked in a somewhat infamous club in Portland for years called Satyricon, known for hosting punk and garage acts as well as indie singer/songwriters. A lot of what I listen to would have been played there, either live or on the jukebox – too many bands/people to list, really. But I’ve always listened to a lot of old soul music as well. And yes, all these things directly inform the vocal components of my work for sure. Portland musician and artist Rachel Blumberg contributed her beautiful voice to one of my video works, The Sunshine Bores | The Daylights, and a group of Portland musician friends (Jerry (A.) Lang; Jillian Wieseneck; Dan Eccles; Jennifer Shepard; Dean Miles) produced the audio components to my most recent project, Wretched Yew. Jen Shepard’s vocal track is a hugely vital piece to that video, including a blood curdling scream that gives me chills in the very best way every time I hear it.

To continue reading go HERE

Mineral House Media was founded in 2017 as an online curatorial collective focused on the enrichment of personal practice through the elevation of working contemporary artists. We strive to connect artists across the Southeast and beyond through a series of online residencies, interviews, podcasts, mini-documentaries, and annual exhibitions.

———-

ecoartapace was conceived in 1997 by Patricia Watts in Los Angeles. In 1999, Watts partnered with east coast curator Amy Lipton, operating as a nonprofit under the umbrella of SEE, the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in California. 2019 marked twenty years that Watts and Lipton have curated art and ecology programs, participating on panels and giving lectures internationally. Combined, they have curated over sixty art and ecology exhibitions, many outdoors in collaboration with artists creating site-specific works. They have worked with over one thousand artists from across the United States, and some internationally. Starting 2020, ecoartspace became an LLC membership organization based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico

Luciana Abait: Underwater in downtown LA

Environmentally Inspiring Painterly Photographs and Mixed Media

Written by Genie Davis for art and cake

Luciana Abait recently focuses on photography and video creating her painterly images, but using these mediums is relatively new for her. In fact, her first photo-based work began in the 2000s after incorporating elements of mixed media into her painted works.

Since her initial series, Underwater she’s explored the different elements that make up our environment: water, vegetation, air (and clouds) and now icebergs, water in its frozen state.

Abait has always been intrigued by the way human civilization invades and tries to contain nature. “That was the origin of Underwater Series, exploring how mankind contains water with the architectural constructions of swimming pools. All the other series that have followed share the same fascination and questions of who is adapting to whom. Is the natural world adapting to the built environment or is human civilization adapting to nature?” she asks.

Her commitment to the environment and awareness of climate change presently inspires her work, arising in part from a move to Los Angeles in 2005. “This city’s commitment to environmental issues made me extremely aware of the danger that the future of mankind is going through, and the responsibility I have as an artist who is already working with climate change issues, to transmit this message to the public,” she attests.

Her current work is photo-based, two- and three- dimensional in both photo-sculptures and installations. “This year I have had the opportunity to expand my work and present time-based pieces as well. One of my main aspirations is to create magical and surreal experiences in which spectators are transported into a different world or reality. I use all different media in order to achieve this.”

Most recently, Abait did just this as an exhibiting artist DTLA’s evening LUMINEX installations, where she created a dazzling blue, immersive image of a waterfall. It was the most interactive of the jubilant video art on display, and one of the most magical of the exhibition. Viewers came to “stand under” the waterfall and snap selfies there, as if they were playing in a cascade of water. Abait came to be a part of the exhibition after an introduction to NowArt LA Foundation – the creators of LUMINEX – by the curator and director of Building Bridges Art Exchange Marisa Caichiolo, also a board member of NowArtLA.

She has been working with the theme of water for 20 years. “Agua,” her LUMINEX project is the natural evolution of years of research, documentation, creation, artwork production and hard work, the artist explains. “For the last few years, I have been focusing on creating public art projects that the whole community can experience…last year, when all cultural institutions closed during the California lockdown, I felt that it was so important to be part of projects where I could share my work with an audience in the outdoors and help them experience a moment of relief and wonder.”

Her vision met this goal evocatively. “Art is so powerful, and it can change people’s minds and hearts,” she says. “‘Agua’ is based on the flood myth, and it deals with the concepts of healing and rebirth. After a year of global loss and mourning, LUMINEX founder and curator Carmen Zella and myself felt that this was exactly what ‘Agua’ could convey to the community.”

And then the magic of the evening’s video projection happened. “People were surprised by the monumentality and illusion of water falling over the wall of a real building. Everybody was laughing, dancing, twirling. There was so much love and joy. Many people who visited the installation told me ‘We needed this so much.’ I am so thankful and honored that I was able to create an immersive experience, at such a grand scale, in the city of Los Angeles, free for all the community to enjoy, and that it brought so much needed happiness. It has been a dream come true.”

Along with this recent experiential triumph, Abeit is currently exhibiting her Iceberg Series A Letter to the Future at LAX Terminal 7. In it, she uses surreal, photo-based manipulated landscapes. These “stem from my own experience as an immigrant and represent myself as a wanderer – shifting between oceans and continents. I created the frosty landscapes of imaginary icebergs by combining photographs I had taken of California mountain ranges with found images from encyclopedia and textbooks,” she says.

Abeit then added another element to these layered works. “Within these inhospitable terrains, I inserted manmade objects, such as a Ferris wheel or a billboard, producing an eerie atmosphere. The presence of these out-of-place objects suggests issues of adaptation, assimilation, isolation and displacement, and serves as a reflection on the aggressive intrusion of humans on the natural world and how the effects are far reaching, impacting the most vulnerable in particular.”

While the images were installed just prior to the lockdown, visiting them in 2021, they “represent every single human on the planet earth who has gone through isolation and confinement. The vast oceans and dark skies can easily symbolize our homes or rooms in the last year, while the colorful surreal skies talk about a world that we no longer know,” Abeit explains. “A Letter to the Future presents a vast universe where all humans are immigrants in an unknown new world still challenged by the precarious state of our beautiful environment.”

Continue reading at art and cake

(Top image: Luciana Abait, Agua, video projection, part of LUMINEX, DTLA, 2021; Photo credit @drozafilms)

———-

ecoartapace was conceived in 1997 by Patricia Watts in Los Angeles. In 1999, Watts partnered with east coast curator Amy Lipton, operating as a nonprofit under the umbrella of SEE, the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in California. 2019 marked twenty years that Watts and Lipton have curated art and ecology programs, participating on panels and giving lectures internationally. Combined, they have curated over sixty art and ecology exhibitions, many outdoors in collaboration with artists creating site-specific works. They have worked with over one thousand artists from across the United States, and some internationally. Starting 2020, ecoartspace became an LLC membership organization based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico

Between the Suns | Rachel Miller interview

Between the Suns | Rachel Miller interview 

Contributed by Abigail Doan

In her latest site-specific, window installation at FENTSTER exhibition space in Toronto, artist, design researcher, and educator, Rachel Miller continues her investigation into timely themes related to environmental fragility, complex pattern as metaphor, and material resilience. 

Miller’s sculptural projects and performance-based works have consistently explored the ways that body and landscape overlap to create frameworks for growth, regeneration, and narratives of co-existence. Cycles of nature and ancient traditions have always been touchstones for the artist. Her investigations into historic rituals/texts, archaeology, architecture, and ecological principles have consistently yielded artifact-like garments, soil embedded tapestries, and organic structures rooted in identity and place.

For Between the Suns, the artist expanded her research to the realms of Jewish art and craft traditions as paradigms for community-based and ecological healing. Her current installation at FENTSTER, which opened this past January and remains on view through June 1, 2021, is a multi-dimensional window installation for curious passersby. The textured, wax-cast tapestry forms reference delicate, traditional paper cut borders and speak to the fragility and endurance of heritage, the immigrant experience, and self preservation.

FENTSTER’s curator, Evelyn Tauben, writes that the exhibition’s title, Between the Suns is derived from “a Hebrew phrase in Jewish tradition referring to the transitional time of twilight. This exhibition harkens to our present-day limbo – between environmental degradation and the possibility for repair, between life during a pandemic and a new reality on the horizon, between the uncertainty of dusk and the rise of a promising day.”

Having followed the studio practice and artistic journey of Rachel Miller for close to a decade now, I initiated this interview to better understand the new terrain that Miller has ventured into with a community-based social practice and threads of her own family memories. The description of the ‘uncertainty of dusk’ and ‘the rise of a promising day’ also lured me in as possible strategies for how to prevail during these challenging times

AD: Your most recent exhibitionis in many ways a continuation of past projects but also ventures into new terrain in terms of materials, process, and historical research. Tell us more about how this site-specific project was conceived and the unique timing of its January 2021 opening.

RM: An exhibition venue like FENTSTER, which means “window” in Yiddish, was ideal for Between the Suns, as the community opening on January 25, 2021, coincided with the Jewish Holiday of Tu Bishvat, also known as the ‘New Year of the Trees’, which for many, has become an engagement opportunity for conscientious care of the environment. 

FENTSTER’s curator, Evelyn Tauben and I agreed that having the opening during the week of Tu Bishvat worked well with the project’s theme and commitment to sustainable methods. The gallery installation and sculpture display surface featured environmentally-sensitive materials that were natural, repurposed, and totally reusable. For the cast-wax panels, Shabbat candle drippings were collected from members of Toronto’s Jewish community. The back wall that the work is displayed on was also created with a zero-waste  design approach, that is, built from a pre-owned table, discarded wood, and surplus paint. Between the Suns was definitely a community effort in terms of the donation of candles and wax materials, particularly with generous doorstep pick-ups and deliveries made during a pandemic.

AD: What role does pattern and textile research play in your studio projects? How have these ideas been translated into the materiality and presentation of Between the Suns?

RM: I have always approached my environmental and site-specific sculpture projects with an interest in pattern(s), specifically patterns of breathing, life cycles, and cyclical transitions. I view the elements as being collaborators of sorts, and see pattern as a woven continuum and visual evidence of the universality that we all experience. 

When I initiate a project, I spend a lot of time researching ancient motifs, historical textiles/documents, and often archaeological references. I typically look across cultures and time periods, but for Between the Suns, I was particularly drawn to Jewish paper cuts that had resonance with the journey and traditions of my own family. I wanted to honor their ability to adapt and create hope during darker times. I fused these memories into the materiality of the cast-wax patterns of my sculptural installation and also accepted that the wax itself might change (melt) or be impacted by sunlight/heat throughout the course of the exhibition. 

I think that ultimately I was trying to look beyond the chosen pattern itself towards a possible sensation of circularity, hope, light, and inhalation/exhalation expressions of the community overall. The call and response between the materials and changing atmospheric conditions, as well as the soil beneath, is very much an ongoing theme in my studio practice and one that intends to highlight resilience and the need for restoration.

Rachel Miller, Passing 1

AD: Why is soil an important material in your installation projects? What universal qualities does this material have for a sculptor?

RM: Soil connects to history and memory. Soil is both a sturdy and loose, diggable threshold between what memory lies beneath, and what exists upon. Natural occurrences such as weathering, time, erosion, and communication methods such as passing on knowledge, can help to keep alive those memories that might otherwise be buried forever. Soil allows us to stay fed and nourished throughout our lifetime and offers a place to rest when we pass.  

Artist unknown, Galicia. Watercolor, paper. (Slovak National Museum Museum of Jewish Culture)

AD: Tell us more about your research into Jewish art forms, traditions, (family) heritage and the intricate paper cut forms that were the inspiration behind the cast-wax sculpture installation? How was the community involved and what sort of participation has resulted from the presentation of your work?

RM: The cast wax forms were inspired by Jewish paper cuts, a traditional form of Jewish ritual and folk art that dates back for hundreds of years. The paper cut patterns that inspired my installation dated back to 1910, when my grandfather fled as a young child with his family from Galicia to New York.  Despite the fragility and delicate nature of these detailed paper cuts, the pieces that survived over a century after they were made, resonated with me.

To a great extent, the materials I have used in my artwork are just as significant and interconnected with the concept, design, and the story behind my work. For instance, wax is malleable, flexible, adaptable, molding to a setting that it may be placed in. Although it is fragile and can break easily, it still has the ability to remold itself over and over. When I reflect on my family’s immigration experience, the reflection spans beyond their experience alone. They had to leave their homes, adapt to a new country, a new set of customs, a new everything. The very physical nature of wax is a metaphor for adaptation: it is malleable, has the ability to take on the form and shape of its environment, adjusts, settles, radiates lights. And when under strife, it may break and/ or shatter, but once the pieces are picked up, one can remold, readapt, and continue.

Feedback that has inspired and surprised me– about a night after I completed the installation of Between the Suns, I noticed that an image of my work was shared on an Instagram story page that said something along the lines of, “This is what we are here for”, “To be creative”, from a kind stranger who I had never even met. Curious to know more about who he was, I sent him a direct message, thanking him for sharing my work. He messaged back, and told me that on the night when he discovered my work, he was doing late evening deliveries for Uber (on foot). It meant a lot to me that someone from within my local community, was moved by the installation, documented it, and felt compelled to share his experience in this way. 

AD: As an educator/researcher and community member, how do you feel your work speaks to potential solutions for or examinations of environmental and/or social injustice? Do you see Between the Suns taking root in new contexts?

RM: My work is truly a distillation of so many experiences in my life, past, present, as well as daily current events and the myriad ways that I process this information. I try to be an advocate for adaptability, flexibility and resilience in my dialogues with students and members of my community. Like the cast-wax forms in Between the Suns, I believe that we have to be open to re-casting and re-molding under adversity, and often fracturing conditions. This is true in the face of uncertainty and rootlessness as well. What prevails ultimately is the ability to keep reshaping what we have or have salvaged/preserved into something even more hopeful and everlasting. With this in mind, I feel this project will take root in another context with perhaps even more resonance and impact.

As Between the Suns approaches its conclusion on June 1, 2021, the wax-cast forms have re-molded a bit due to the sun’s heat and warming spring temperatures in the window installation. This demonstration of adaptability and resilience with the passage of time is very much in line with the artist’s message of uncertainty translated into promise and regeneration.

Between the Suns, is on view at FENTSTER in Toronto thru June 1, 2021.

There will be an online conversation between curator, Evelyn Tauben, and artist, Rachel Miller, on May 26 from 12:30-1:00pm EST. Details are on the FENTSTER event page.

A special congratulations to artist Rachel Miller, for her receipt of the 2021 People’s Choice Award from the DesignTo Festival 2021 in Toronto.

Learn more about Rachel Miller’s work here.
Follow her on Instagram here.

All photos courtesy of the artist and FENTSTER.

Installation photos/credit: Morris Lum.

———-

ecoartapace was conceived in 1997 by Patricia Watts in Los Angeles. In 1999, Watts partnered with east coast curator Amy Lipton, operating as a nonprofit under the umbrella of SEE, the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs in California. 2019 marked twenty years that Watts and Lipton have curated art and ecology programs, participating on panels and giving lectures internationally. Combined, they have curated over sixty art and ecology exhibitions, many outdoors in collaboration with artists creating site-specific works. They have worked with over one thousand artists from across the United States, and some internationally. Starting 2020, ecoartspace became an LLC membership organization based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico