May 20 – June 19, 2010
This exhibition features works created by artists in a regular unit (hourly/weekly/monthly) as part of an ongoing practice – once a day or once a week or once a minute for a chunk of time or continuing chunks of time.
Recording our thoughts and observations is an ongoing human activity. For visual artists, the impulse to create a tangible result of these observations is a widespread practice. The results of several such projects make for a lively and engaging display at Abecedarian Gallery.
Many of the projects in this exhibition honor and celebrate ritual and process within various set parameters.
Some, such as Denver’s Homare Ikeda
Heidi Zednik, of Asheville, North Carolina, speaks of a continuing commitment
‘to simply have some sort of record of the days, however small the observation’
. On exhibit are selections from two of her 2010 projects. Walnut ink drawings on found paper, starting with a stack of vintage computer-punch-cards and a second project, typed text on stained tea bags. The text reflects some thought(s) of the day. Each months’ teabags are tied with string, becoming a single “standing month” or object.
Another Asheville artist, Tony Bradley, has dedicated years to the practice of daily drawings and virtually all his two-dimensional work is an outgrowth of this practice. He has created portfolios of his mixed media on paper works into a series of Monthly Reports.
Another ongoing project is that of Genie Shenk, a California artist, who has been creating visual documents of her dreams since 1982, preserved and presented in a book for each year. Two of her dream books are included in this exhibit.
Also honoring specific experiences are the daily drawings of Elizabeth (Tilly) Strauss whose drawings, spanning over 100 days, document the relationship between the artist and a dying friend.
Other of the projects were designed with very specific intent – New South Wales artist Sara Bowen states she started The Daily Drawing project
‘to try and recapture my enthusiasm for drawing. As a child I always carried pencil and paper and didn’t care what I drew; I drew anything, anywhere. It dawned upon me that I could start again . . . I thoroughly enjoyed the experience’
Book artist Alicia Bailey wished to quickly process the early phases of a series of ideas. Her Book a Week series forced her to create books quickly and get ideas either out of her system or recognize their worth as more fully developed projects.
Tatiana Ginsberg (Santa Barbara, California) made a cup out of handmade paper every day for 100 days, drinking her daily tea from it, letting the tea soak and stain the paper bowl. Ginsberg has studied in Japan and is familiar with the way Japanese tea ceremony ritualizes an aspect of everyday life. Thinking about the pauses in the day provided by cups of tea or coffee, she made cups that reacted to and recorded the specific act of drinking. Ginsberg is also exhibiting Shadow Drawings, daily works drawn from the shadows cast by insect ravaged leaves.
Photography has been a mainstay in the realm of personal recording/documentation. The photographers included in the exhibit have each approached the notion of connecting with the personal or physical landscape.
Denver artist Anna Newell-Jones spent one year working on Daily: A Self-Portrait a Day For a Year, motivated by what she says was a ‘desperate desire to see who I really am.’ The photos are funny, sad and everything in between, but are always unflinching.
In a year long project, beginning on her 39th birthday, Lafayette, Colorado artist Mia Semingson investigates the relationship of one day’s image to the next.
Connecticut artist Janet Pritchard’s Views from the Interior: The First Seven-Year Cycle records her multi-year connection a personal landscape by acting as recording witness to it.
Also documenting experience is Denver artist Sammy Lee, whose work Unfolding Each Day is a photographic journal of the year 2005, handsomely housed in a multi-faceted box that gives evidence of her architectural training.
Another artist using photography as the basis for a daily project, Chicago’s Stacy Sears photographed the sky each day, using the photographs as a starting point for a daily painting practice.
And lastly, Nikki Thompson, Katerine Case and Sara McManus used the format of daily postcard mailing as a tribute to their friendship. They sent each other postcards once a month for a year, then each created an artists’ book from the postcards.
I am sorry not to have gotten to Denver for the show, and have enjoyed the images online. I am honored to be in such great company. Looks like a “wow”show.