Show: Adaptive Horizons

My long-simmering series is getting its debut! Join me at Lynn Hanson Gallery in April to see my latest work from Adaptive Horizons. To go along with a few of my usual prints on aluminum, I’ve ventured into some images on paper, beautifully framed by Seattle Custom Framing.

Exhibition Dates: April 4-27
Location: Lynn Hanson Gallery, 312 S Washington St, Seattle, WA
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 4, 5-8 pm
Second Saturday: Saturday, April 13, 2-4 pm with a Q&A session at 3 pm

This work has been building, in bits and pieces, since 2016. It’s hard to place where one series ends and another starts, but this one is grounded in some very particular visuals, in and around the Seattle Art Fair that year. I started seeing a theme of bulletin boards: at the fair, there was a large textile piece, of overlapping felted rectangles; in a side venue at the fair, Eva Isaksen had a large installation piece of overlapped paper, full of her own writing.   When I saw a bulletin board in real life shortly after, at a local store, it felt like the art pieces: many notices were ripped off, just showing remnants, and each had been an important message in its time. I started thinking about how we layer memories, discard old habits, and replace them with new ones, hopefully better for us. That was the root, the inkling of a plan.  

Right around the same time, early August 2016, I found out that my father had died. Earlier the same year, I lost my closest uncle, and my partner had also lost his father and a favorite aunt recently. The grief was piling up, and I worked through it with some art. By taking old prints, pulled from circulation, and reconfiguring them into cut-up pieces for collage and collagraphs, I physically inked over the old work, incorporating it into new work that was starting to resemble bulletin boards! The new prints, inked-over collages, and secondary prints formed the bases for some of these pieces, and remind me of them, as I continue on without them.

With my camera, I continued to gather tree and horizon imagery, but we also moved from the suburbs into the city, and suddenly my view changed to high-rises and cranes. As we adjust to city life, those modern structures are nudging their way into my compositions, as I learn to see landscapes from a new perspective. I’ve been trained by culture to think of a rural horizon as the pleasant version, and I’m relearning that pleasant and calming can be reworked into any familiar view.

I continue to think about how my layers of work relate to my memory of people, events, and landscapes. I hold the view that a strong horizon line is grounding, just as you might stare into the steady distance to prevent nausea from motion sickness. When I can turn to a pleasant, or even a complex horizon, it reminds me of calmer and more focused times.

As I rework physical elements of the work, taking a collage with bits and pieces, then inking it for printing, then taking another, ghosted image, then using that in yet another composition, I think about the evolution of our memories, and all the permutations they go through, as we build up that bulletin board of our history.  Does the sadness and grief peek out, along with the memories of our past? Does the strong horizon line help with stability even as we sort through all those thoughts?  And what about those of us who don’t have pleasant memories of our origins? What does it mean to barely remember a landscape? Do our thoughts and misremembered images get in the way? How do we recognize solace? In our yearning for a moment of peace, how hard is it to obliterate intrusive, harsh memories, or are they always peeking out? I don’t have a final answer, but these built-up pieces helped me find a new path, process some change, and celebrate both the past and the future.

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