To recall six foot waves, meadows, tidal surges, eight inch oysters that this was the land that the Gowanus canal replaced. Fortunately, we now have human creativity surging through this area of Brooklyn.
For my part in the Gowanus Open Studios 2019, one of my works is of a man reaching with his hand to feel the softness of a meadow plant. I will display this palladium print on Japanese gampi paper and a few other works as part of GOS2019 on the weekend of October 19th and 20th, from noon to 6 PM.
The location is King Killer Studio, 69 Second Ave. near 9th Street in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn.
The link to all the artists exhibiting is https://www.artsgowanus.org.
I am proud to have work in a group exhibition of artists hosted online by the Berlin Collectiv. Katia Hermann is the curator. My work is titled “Iris Sparks” and Katia wrote that my work is ‘scientific’ in that the cells and fibers of the Iris flower appear x-ray like. This is something I aim for in depicting the camera-free flora I chose.
Please click on the sentence below to view this PDF:
I have placed a few works from my current ocean portfolio in the above linked PDF. These works have grown from my sense of sanctuary in long walks at the ocean’s edge during this time of Covid lockdown.
Feeling wave upon wave wash over the sand moved me into the cyclic and expansive motion of the ocean. To express the ocean’s vastness and materiality, I pick up remnants of sea life washed onto the sand.
Placing these fragments of sea life directly into my enlarger, I make camera-free large 16 X 20 inch negatives to contact print using brushed palladium metal on translucent Japanese gampi paper and expose the negatives and paper using the direct rays of the sun.
When I place these fragments in my enlarger, the depth of field is similar to a lens that is wide open on a large format camera. Some details are sharply focused while others are softly embraced.
Using palladium allows for tonal distinctions of extreme subtlety. Sometimes when I paint the palladium on the paper, I paint only the shape of the object and leave the rest of the paper open. This I have done with the corals. Centering the corals allows for the concentration of their forms.
I work with animals, insects and plants and collage them with photographs I have done of our bodies to show our unity, in this time of climate crisis, with the natural world. I always enjoy watching dragonflies flying over ponds of water. I marvel at their wing span as they navigate near the water’s surface. I love how their wings reflect light as they flit and hover over water.
Dragonflies are known and sometimes revered all over the world. There are as many as 5000 species of dragonfly. Learning how many cultures have myths and beliefs associated with dragonflies has increased my own admiration and love for them.
One of the names of Japan is Akitsushima which means island of dragonflies. For Aboriginals in Australia dragonflies symbolize dancing and a reminder for humans to look within. In Welsh mythology, the word for dragonfly means snake’s servant, as they are often seen in the same environs as snakes. In the South West of the U.S., native Americans see dragonflies as the helper to bring rain and water in the dry areas. Celtic mythology has 23 names for the dragonfly.
In all these beliefs and myths, dragonflies are associated with change and transformation, particularly to bring more light and joy into our lives.
I have done this installation of dragonfly wings with close up of Iris flowers in palladium prints on Japanese gampi papers.
The Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, BWAC, is exhibiting “More Art of Coney Island”, a curated exhibition for the month of August, 2022. This is a juried show selected by Alicia Degener, co-president of BWAC.
Coney Island is considered to be the poor man’s Riviera. The artists in this exhibition have works depicting the multitudes of people who enjoy Coney Island. The artists represent people of all ages. One can almost hear the sounds of people laughing, talking, listening to music, shouting and even screaming when they go on the rides offered on Coney Island. The drawings, paintings, prints, textiles, and photographs show people on the boardwalk, on the beach, in the water, playing games and particularly participating in the annual Mermaid Parade. I think the Mermaid Parade honors the feminine archetype or Venus, who in mythology rose from the sea.
I am pleased to have my palladium prints of people with tattoos exhibited in this immense wooden building, once a warehouse, and now is a place for art and people to mingle.
My artwork in the form of palladium prints is on exhibit. This exhibition has been curated by Azure Arts and the dates are February 23, 2023 to March 13, 2023. The venue is located at 5 Rivington Street in Manhattan. My work is in correspondence with two other artists who address the theme of “Vital Impetus”.
“Vital impetus” derives from the concept of “elan vital” , a term coined by the French philosopher Henri Bergson. Rather than simply adhering to a set of mechanistic laws, Bergson contended that life has an inherent drive or impulse towards creativity, growth and innovation. While his philosophy emphasizes the role of individual experience, consciousness and creativity, he also saw the ‘self’ as fundamentally connected to others. The ‘self’ for Bergson, stands in dynamic relation to others. The ‘self’ is evolving constantly through its interactions with others.
In my artworks on exhibit, the human body is explored as a site for construction and communication of identity. Tattoos are vehicles for merging our human experiences with the larger world. By culling images from mythology, artifacts, and flora and fauna, my work explores the vital connections between self and other.
This work “Beyond the Veil” will be on exhibit with a poem, “Veil Not”, by Iranian poet Ala Khaki from August 5- September 4 at The Lakes Gallery in Laconia, New Hampshire. This collage and the accompanying poem support the struggle of Iranian women and girls for equality and freedom from the harsh patriarchal rules imposed by the Iranian leadership. Echoing this is a very moving piece published in The New York Times Magazine titled “Dreaming of a New Iran.”
In this work I use the language of forms to connect physically and spiritually with the burden of enforced wearing of a head covering. The forbidding black forms above which the young girl rises, as she looks beyond as if into the future, hold and appear to subdue a woman below them. I also use the language of color –blue, the color of open skies is intertwined in the girl’s hair and the red lines are for the fires in Ala Khaki’s poem. With these colors I speak of the yearnings for freedom for the women of Iran.
Here is Ala Khaki’s poem:
To compliment “Beyond the Veil”, I will also be exhibiting “Flower Play” and “Trembling”. These works of flowers speak of transformation and states of joy and growth. They echo the desires of Iranian women for freedom.
My handmade artworks, about the metamorphosis that tattooing gives people, are exhibited with the work of two other artists at a boutique hotel on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Untitled at 3 Freeman Alley, from November 2023 through February 15, 2024. The exhibit titled “Vital Impetus: Life Signs”, curated by Elizabeth Chatham of Azure Arts NYC is situated in the expansive modern lobby. The hotel aims to provide guests, the “tattoo generation”, with the flavor of New York City with our artworks, murals and even graffiti.
My handmade artistic approach fits with the murals hand painted in the hotel. My works on exhibit are about tattoos. I use film when I photograph people’s tattoos. I enlarge my 4X5 inch film in a wet darkroom and brush palladium on handmade Japanese gampi paper to print my negatives. I use the sun to develop the images.
The handmade Japanese gampi paper, situates the palladium images of tattoos like tattoo ink penetrates skin. Gampi paper is made from a bush found in the mountains and warm areas of Japan. Gampi cannot be cultivated and therefore is rare and the most expensive of the handmade Japanese papers. Its translucency and shiny texture make it ideal for my work incorporating tattoos with fragments of nature. It is the perfect ground for the metamorphosis I seek in my artwork where human tattoos meet fragments of nature. This metamorphosis, I hope, will transform the experience of people sitting in the comfortable lobby as they talk, enjoy coffee and work.