Stories We Hold

I'm happy to be participating in this exhibition that opens this weekend on Saturday, May 2, at the historic Beyond Baroque, a literary art center in Venice, CA. I'll be showing a few of the drawings and collages from a series of work about real and metaphorical travel during a recent period of time. Below are some shots of the work in progress and you can find the finished pieces in the Projects of my website section- or at the exhibition!

The "story" of the work I am exhibiting is below. 

“Everywhere I Want to Go…”
“Travel Hexes”

These pieces are from a series where I explore the specific mapping and travels of my daily life during a period of time when my partner who lived some distance from me became critically ill. My travels were restricted to my home, her home, and work. I had just temporarily closed up my studio with a plan to move in with her when she became ill. That plan was naturally put on hold due to its’ complexities and I was left with my old family kitchen table on which to work and not much space.

With a studio practice that normally revolves around large-scale printmaking and photography projects, I realized that wouldn’t work for some time so I took up drawing and collage again. I was reminded of how much I loved it. Working from an old atlas of the United States that had taken me across the country and back a few times before GPS came about I found a great freedom poring over it during this time, dissecting and configuring both my actual and imagined travels. I couldn’t wait to come home and sit at the table and cut out more map strands every day. I can only describe it as an unexpected and complete obsession. I also realized also that I’d gotten old enough for reading glasses and had to buy a pair to see the text of the tiny streets and towns!

By tracing the lines of beloved old haunts where I grew up or traveled and dreaming of new places we’d go when she got well, I found some sense of peace. The small squares are tracings of the absent towns cut out and used in another piece in the series. Concern for her health wove its way into my work. The pathways and land masses I developed in these pieces ended up also reflecting clusters of cells and the structure of veins, both attached and disembodied.

Here are some samples of the work in progress.

Some very early sketches.

Some very early sketches.

Working on the first Travel Hex drawing by tracing the removed road cut outs from the atlas.

Working on the first Travel Hex drawing by tracing the removed road cut outs from the atlas.

Early in the collage process. Cutting out the roads and attaching them to the paper.

Early in the collage process. Cutting out the roads and attaching them to the paper.

Beginning to shade in the town cut-outs in white colored pencil.

Beginning to shade in the town cut-outs in white colored pencil.

The first level of shading areas left by multiple road and block removals.

The first level of shading areas left by multiple road and block removals.

Shading in overlapping blocks of light and dark.

Shading in overlapping blocks of light and dark.