Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rituals, Collections and Time

Above: Work by Jill Sylvia (Image from Bob Calloway 's Blog Art Fever)

Recently, I had an idea for a blog post about other artists whose work is somehow connected with a repeated activity or image and is also related to my idea of rituals and collections, however slight. Amy Stillman and Jill Sylvia are two artists whose works touch on these themes.

Coincidentally, the exhibition Thrive popped on the scene last weekend and after looking over that exhibition I decided to expand the discussion here to the broader theme --- "notions of time."

Thrive is curated by Mary Ross Taylor and is currently on view at Diverse Works Art Space through December 20th. It was held in conjunction with a conference presented by The University of Houston Women's Studies Program, Gender, Creativity and the New Longevity, that took place November 13-18---last weekend. Below is a listing of the participating artists and the short description about the conference and exhibiton taken from Diverse Works web site. Clicking on the highlighted names will take you to the artist's web site. Clicking on Kathy Hall will take you to Mary Ross Taylor's short YouTube video about Taylor's work in Thrive.

Notions of time play through the work of 16 notable artists from Houston in Thrive, an exhibition organized in conjunction with a conference at University of Houston: "Gender, Creativity and the New Longevity." The exhibit and accompanying programs are a co-presentation of Diverse Works and Women's Studies program at University of Houston. Artists include Elia Arce, Laura Bennett, Ellen Berman, Suzanne Bloom, Joanne Brigham, Kathy Hall, Roberta Harris, Rachel Hecker, Mary Jenewein, Lauren Kelley, Charles Mary Kubricht, Lynn Randolph, Debra Rueb, Toby Topek, Kelli Vance and Dee Wolff.

(from Diverse Works web site)

Charles Mary Kubricht is the only artist from Thirve that I will discuss here. Both Amy Stillman and Jill Sylvia were found on the internet.

This photograph is one in a series of works by Charles Mary Kubricht. Her work in Thrive was a series of black and white photographs of Mt. Livermore gridded on one wall. Each photo documented a particular plant, a distant view, or some other object/artifact found at the site.
She speaks about the mountain's location in relation to Mexico and how it is being used today as a border crossing and as a route for drug smugglers. However, the mountain has also been designated a "sky island" by the Nature Conservancy.

Amy Stillman "investigates concepts of time, memory and our interaction with nature." She is interested in the "everyday, often meaningless or overlooked objects and fleeting moments of experience, and the ways in which they are collected, preserved, and remembered." (Taken from her statement.) This is one in the series "Daily Painting" of pieces of the sky.

Daily Paintings (detail): September 2006
acrylic and gouache on paper on panels
26” x 25” x 3/4"

‘August’ Garden-in July
photograph of garden installation
8" x 12" on 11" x 14" paper

In this installation, Stillman documents the garden at different stages of growth and deterioration.

Both Stillman and Kubricht draw our attention to things in our surroundings we often take for granted. Both use the grid format as an organizational strategy. Stillman's in Daily Paintings is suggestive of calendars. Kubricht's work seems to be concerned with the convergence of historical moments technological stages and political agendas at Mt. Livermore.

I am particularly drawn to the work of Jill Sylvia, below. Monotony comes to mind as I visualize her cutting page after page the little rectangles from the ledger page but perhaps meditation is how she sees it.

Jill Sylvia
detail, Untitled (Book 2)
Hand Cut Ledger Paper
11 x 17 x 2, 2005

Jill Sylvia
Hand Cut Ledger Paper & Matte Board
Dimensions Variable, 2007

As you can see from the few images I have posted here, ledger books are transformed into sometimes "ghost pages", sometimes three dimensional structures. Organizational strategies, time management, loss of time seem part of her concerns.

Here is where you come in. I am interested in finding other artists whose work is related to any of these issues. If your work is concerned with "notions of time", with rituals or collections in in any way, feel free to share your work by sending me a Jpeg image or two of your work (identified with title, size and medium) along with a short statement that I can post and I will share it on this blog. Include your url address for you web site or blog and I will post that too.
(Send in an E-mail marked Interactive blog response to gplunkett@rocketspeed.net)

Below are links to more of Mary Ross Taylor talking about Thrive.
Mary Ross Taylor
Mary Ross Taylor

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