Here are some photos from the SEED exhibit that opened this past Friday along with some of my thoughts on the show and the creative process I went through. The show is up till the end of the month, so please stop by and check it out if you haven’t. I’m very happy with the way it came together.
Also, on the horizon:
• a SEED float in the PRIDE 2011 Festival and Parade as part of our community outreach program,
• an October Pumpkin SEEDs show at the Foothills Arts Council, and
• possible skateboard deck show at Liberty Tattoo in the fall.
Tally-Ho! (Read on for my artist statement comments on the TimeStretching show.)
TimeStretching: Dreamscapes and Visions
and the Collaborative Process
On arriving at a theme:
Our theme was a long time evolving, but it started with the story of an abandoned pet bird trapped indoors. What does a creature dream about without external stimulation? Are there innate dreams to sustain their creative life? As we talked further about themes in our individual work, we returned to the ideas of slow motion, surrealism and dream-states again and again. Artists have power to reframe reality and refocus awareness. We bend the laws of time to call attention and focus to otherwise ignored details. At times, we insert frames into reality through unexpected juxtapositions and non sequiturs. Art can be a form of slow motion – creating a thoughtful/suspenseful aura or stressing a moment in time, real or imagined. TimeStretching became the perfect description for our goals as artists and for this show. To capture and reframe life, calling attention to details that would otherwise be missed, slowing down time and allowing refocus.
Creating a collaborative landscape:
Our goal for the exhibit was to create a landscape that presented our individual work in an interactive way, creating viewable slices of work that emphasize elements unnoticed with a more traditional presentation. Layers of work create a virtual forest that force constant reframing and allow the pieces to collaborate in real-time, as the viewer passes through the space. In this way we translate the idea of art as reframing device to the act of experiencing the art, making the viewer an essential part of the collaborative process.
On our collaboration:
Collaborative projects can be challenging. Ultimately you loose a fair amount of control to your collaborator, which is scary. But, sometimes scary is good. This partner show has been a great opportunity to step outside my artistic comfort zone. Together we worked on three collaborative projects for this exhibit. Our “Dreamscape Evolutions” started with a diptych by Dave which we then passed back and forth, adding layers digitally to create variations on our theme. We show a selection of this exploration, but there were many more iterations that in turn informed our approach to the overall show and some of my personal pieces, as well. The other two collaborative pieces are the panels we each created in a call-and-response style joint effort. I created “Graffiti As Seen Through Foliage” as part of this process. Overall, exploring new themes and responding to another artists perspective has been energizing and I look forward to seeing how this experience informs my process going forward.
My approach to the theme:
I was taken with the idea of innate dreams juxtaposed with awareness. I started collecting images and objects that spoke to me as surreal or prehistoric, including images of bizarre deep-sea creatures, vintage dressing gowns and linens, and natural foliage that mirrored human anatomy. I began thinking about awareness (the opposite of dreaming) and how arriving at awareness can be either an internal process (gradual awakening or dawning) or one that is sparked by an outside force (rude awakening or interruption). The final piece of inspiration came from a trove of nuclear bomb testing images found in The Atlantic. My response to the black and white photographs of before and after testing scenarios was visceral. There was a striking vulnerability and a ghostliness there, but there was also an inkling of the pointlessness of hiding from reality. Barriers blocking our vision will eventually be removed, by ourselves or by others. Our choice is to seek awareness or to close our eyes and dream as long as we can. Personally, I want both. There is a special awareness only arrived at in dreams. As long as we do not lose ourselves, exploring dreamscapes will lead to inspiration.
SEED collective artists Woodie Anderson and Dave Urena partner for an exhibit exploring how art reframes reality and refocuses awareness. This collection reflects their attempts to both capture environments/dreams/thoughts and explore how the collaborative process informs personal creativity. The exhibition will showcase large-scale collaborative works by the pair as well as new prints by Anderson and photography by Urena.
SEED Gallery | Urban Artware
207 W. 6th St, Winston-Salem, NC
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 am – 6 pm or by appointment