the landscape and body as revelation – posted in Colorado March 30, 2017

1 72 _LB24592 copyuntitled, color photograph, 2016, Sherry Wiggins and Luis Branco

Landscape is a revelation of space and time, or, more precisely, the arrangement of elements, such as trees, rocks, hills, etc. are that. Arrangements of the body’s elements are postures, revelations, or expressions of inner states. – Valie Export

the feminine body, color, contemplative body/mind, elements, energies, gesture, the landscape – these are all aspects of my recent work…

I have been thinking about my reentry into the landscape and the use of my body and performance in the landscape. Last October I returned to Portugal to the Obras Artist Residency http://www.obras-art.org/ specifically to work in the landscape – on my own and in collaboration with photographer Luis Branco. I had some ideas about installations and performances with black and red cloth in different locations I had surveyed in the fall of 2015. When I arrived in the Alentejo the fall rains had just arrived after a hot and dry summer. The foliage and the trees had this resurgence of this beautiful brilliant green. The fall light was crystalline. New flowers appeared daily. I walked and photographed and felt a deep connection to this “second breath” of the landscape. It was something like what I was experiencing in my art-making practice – a kind of re-emergence of the older woman, of the artist. A new breath and spaciousness in my work…

2 72 color _DSC7153 copy 3untitled, color photograph, 2016, Sherry Wiggins

Ludger took me to the old water mill near Obras. I wrote more about this  on this blog in October. Two young artists from Australia had lovingly cleaned the ruined mill, removing years of mud and rubble and remaking the old building into a beautiful pristine state of ruin. Again I felt this idea of resurgence, resurrection like the landscape and like myself. I returned several times and I photographed and sketched and ruminated about this space with it’s crumbling walls and views to the trees and sky.

3 72 _DSC7320 copy 4untitled, color photograph, 2016, Sherry Wiggins

Later Luis Branco came and photographed me performing and inhabiting the space of the old mill. The series that I am exhibiting that Luis and I created in the mill is titled Breath or Alento in Portuguese. Portuguese is a subtle language – alento means breath, but it also means encouragement, inspiration, nurturance. So below are the four images in this series Breath/ Alento – I will be exhibiting these (and other works made in Portugal) at Michael Warren Contemporary in Denver in the exhibit titled Meeting Her Again – April 18 to May 27th, 2017 :http://www.michaelwarrencontemporary.com/

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72 _LB24521Alento / Breath, series of four color photographs, 2016, Sherry Wiggins and Luis Branco

 

Meeting Her Again / Reencontrando-a a video about the exhibition and project- posted March 30th, 2017 in Colorado

Videographer Rui Fernandes made this 6 minute video with me in January about the exhibition with Luis Branco in Estremoz, Portugal titled Meeting Her Again / Reencontrando-a. Many of these works will be showing at Michael Warren Contemporary in Denver, Colorado http://www.michaelwarrencontemporary.com/ in the exhibition of the same name Meeting Her Again April 18 to May 27, 2017.  The exhibition was at the Palacio dos Marqueses da Praia e Monforte from January 28th to March 11th 2017. It was a large exhibition of the works I made in Portugal in collaboration with photographer Luís Branco  and Rui Fernandes while I was an artist in residence at the Obras Artist Residency http://www.obras-art.org/ in Evoramonte, Portugal for several months in 2015 and again in 2016.  Obragada a todos!

Here is the video linked on You Tube:

Why Valie Export? – posted in Boulder March 12, 2017

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 Smart EXPORT (Self-Portrait). Valie Export, 1968/1970, photograph by Gertraude Wolfshwenger

Because she is so cool and I love this famous image even though I am quitting smoking. There is both humour and  seriousness in her work that I really admire.

And because she is really smart and a feminist and I have much to learn from her.

Quote from Valie Export –

“Since 1972, my drawings, photographs, and actions have been concerned with the presentation of postures as the expression of inner states, represented both in nature and in architecture as adaption, assimilation, imposition, etc. in or on the environment. Parallels such as landscape and mind, architecture and mind, are mediated by the body, partly because the body is a revelation, as is landscape. Landscape is a revelation of space and time, or, more precisely, the arrangement of elements, such as trees, rocks, hills, etc. are that. Arrangements of the body’s elements are postures, revelations, or expressions of inner states; this analogy between arrangements of landscape and body, these common forms of revelation, have served visual art from the beginning as surfaces for projecting expression: external configurations, whether in the landscape or in a picture (which thus becomes landscape) serve as an expression of internal states. This is why landscape is no less common as a motif in painting (and film) than the body. This why people speak of “scenic atmospheres.” A landscape represents an atmosphere, just as body posture expressions do. Expressions are formed not only by the face. So a state of mind can be expressed first by the configuration of landscape components, secondly by the configuration of body components and thirdly-which is the innovation in my work- by the configuration of body elements in the landscape.”

Also because I really like the Body Configurations from 1972 – 1976 by  Valie Export and they very much relate to my own work. Here are eleven of them:

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These are all Valie Export’s images and her text that I downloaded from this site:

http://loves.domusweb.it/body-configurations-by-valie-export-1972-76/

 

 

 

all the rooms in the Palácio – posted in Boulder, Feb 9 2017

72-16-x-10-7460836852015080914203822-1entrance hall ceiling of the Palácio dos Marqueses de Praia e Monforte

The exhibit Reencontrando-a / Meeting Her Again in collaboration with Luis Branco in Estremoz, Portugal is most likely the first and last time I will have an exhibit in a palace. Since returning home just a few days ago I have done a little research on the history of the The Palácio dos Marqueses de Praia e Monforte in Estremoz.  It was actually built during the time of King Joao V in the beginning of the 18th century as a government building and later acquired by the Marquis of Praia and Monforte. It is now owned by the Municipality of Estremoz and used as a museum – they have restored this building beautifully in the last few years. The museum rooms are all on the second floor of the building with beautiful shuttered windows looking out to the street.

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Each room in the Palácio has a different architectural scale and quality. We installed the 40 individual works and 6 different series so that they would fit in these special spaces. All the images in the exhibit were taken within 10 or 15 km of the Palácio so people visiting the exhibition are familiar with many of sites that we used. All of the images in the show and the installation images of the exhibit were made in collaboration with Luis Branco unless otherwise noted.

1-72-woman-at-evoramonte-_dsc7061-copyb-copyWoman on Evoramonte / Mulher em Evoramonte, black and white digital image, 48 x 32 inches, 2015, image by Luis Branco

This entrance image to the exhibition shows me standing on the grounds of the walled city of Evoramonte near the Castelo de Evoramonte. The history of Evoramonte and of the Alentejo region in general goes way back to prehistoric times, many different peoples have lived in this area that is southern Portugal for a very long time.The castle / tower as it stands now was completed in 1531 during the reign of Manual I and was designed by Francisco de Arruda.

72-evora-monteAn engraving from 1684, depicting the walled town of Evoramonte, with the tower in the center.

I love this engraving of Evoramonte. The location of the Obras Artist Residency and Herdade de Marmelaire would likely be where the people are located on the bottom of the picture. The houses in this area still look very similar.

The first room in the exhibition hosts the series titled Horizonte / Horizon. This is a series of 7 small black and white images shot by Luis Branco in 2015 showing a woman / me with a black cloth performing various gestures. These images were all taken on the top of castle at Evoramonte on the tiled terrace. They look historical and contemporary at the same time, a woman with a big sky above her with some kind of abstract architecture containing her.

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installation of Horizonte / Horizon, 7 black and white images, each 15 x 20 inches, 2015

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The second room in the exhibition is an elaborately decorated room in pale green and rose shades. We chose the diptych Flores / Flowers for this special room.

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installation of Flores / Flowers, 2 color images, 24 x 24″, 2015

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The third room is the largest of the rooms in the Palácio – with a tall white plastered ceiling and dark wooden floors this room hosts the series Reencontrando-a / Meeting Her Again that is also the title for the whole exhibition. We placed the red and black fabric carpet on the floor and the two wooden chairs that were used in several of the images in the show. Three black and white images show The Woman at the Gate at Evoramonte, Woman on the Tower and Woman at Herdade de Marmelaire all taken by Luis Branco in 2015.

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Mulher em Herdade de Marmelaire / Woman at Herdade de Marmelaire, black and white digital print, 32 x 20 inches, image by Luis Branco, 2015

The second set of three large black and white images in this large  room in the Palacio are titled Mulher de Pego do Sino / Woman in the Canyon of the Bells and were all taken in the Pego do Sino near Herdade de Marmelaire in November of 2016 by Luis Branco. There are many myths and stories about this special canyon that holds water in its depths – stories about powerful goddesses / deusas and shamans and other holy men and women practicing and praying in this canyon. These black and white images portray a kindred connection to this magnificent place.

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installation of Mulher em Pego do Sino / Woman at the Canyon of the Bells, 3 black and white digital prints, all 48 x 32 inches, images by Luis Branco, 2016

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The fourth room holds the series Alento / Breath – a series of 10 smaller color images that were all shot near and in an old abandoned grain mill near Herdade de Marmelaire in October of 2016. We installed these images in the Palácio with a large swath of the brilliant red fabric we used in several of the images. The title Alento in Portuguese has layered meanings – not just breath but also nurturance, encouragement and inspiration. When I returned to Portugal in October of 2016 the rains had just come and there was a brilliant green in the trees and foliage. The old mill has been recently lovingly recovered by two Australian artists, decades of earth and weeds had been removed. I felt this nurturance of the landscape, of the mill and of myself as an artist. I took several images of the mill and the trees and painted and drew on these color images. Luis Branco took the images of me with the red fabric curtain in the mill.

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The fifth room in the palacio houses several series we made in the studio and on the terrace at the Obras Artist Residency at Herdade de Marmelaire in the fall of 2015. The series on the floor are titled Cadeira / Chair and the series of images on the wall are titled Realizar o Desenho / Performing the Drawing. These are perhaps the most conceptual of all the works in the show and are from my first collaboration with Luis Branco and Rui Fernandes at the Obras Artist Residency. These series show the influence of the remarkable Portuguese conceptual artist Helena Almeida who inspired me to come to Portugal in 2015. The series Performing the Drawing were shot with a drone camera by Rui Fernandes on the terrace outside the studio at Obras. We laid the white canvas on the ground and then I lay on the canvas and performed various gestures with the large swath of black fabric. These images, though not particularly related to a specific place, show a new attitude in my work and an ability to use myself and the female form as the subject – and inhabit my work in a new way…

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The final room in the exhibition houses a single image titled Dois Sherry’s em Herdade de Marmelaire / Two Sherry’s at Herdade de Marmelaire. Luis Branco took this black and white double exposure image in the fall of 2015. Visages of two Sherry’s sit in two wooden chairs in the ruin at Herdade de Marmelaire with Evoramonte in the background: looking at each other – at another self, the other selves that I have found in this journey and collaboration with Luis Branco in this special place all within a few kilometers of the Palacio where it is exhibited.

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Muito obragada a todos!

The exhibition runs through March 11th at the Palácio dos Marqueses de Praia e Monforte in Estremoz, Portugal.

This collaboration and the exhibition of these works was made possible because of the generous support of the OBRAS Art Residency in Evoramonte Portugal. This residency in the rural environment of the Alentejo provides inspiration, space and hospitality for artists from around the world.http://www.obras-art.org/

 

Reencontrando-a / Meeting Her Again (an exhibit in Portugal January 28th – March 11th, 2017), posted in Boulder, CO – January 4th, 2017

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 Flower, color photograph, 24 x 24 inches. 2015

Sherry Wiggins (USA)

in collaboration with Luís Filipe Branco (PT)

Palacio dos Marqueses da Praia e Monforte

Vasco da Gama 3, 7100-106 Estremoz, Portugal

January 28th to March 11th 2017

Opening: Saturday January 28th, 2017 at 4pm

Introduction

Sherry Wiggins came to the Foundation OBRAS in Portugal inspired by the remarkable work of Portuguese conceptual artist Helena Almeida. Almeida has used her body and simple spaces to make photographs often elaborated with blue or red paint since the late 1960’s. Wiggins’ own artwork combines the mediums of drawing, installation, performance, photography and sculpture – methods she has employed for the last three decades.

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Performing the Drawing, color photograph, 24 x 24 inches (image by Rui Fernandes), 2015

Wiggins uses her body with red, black and white fabrics in photographs that unite elements of drawing, installation and the performance of nuanced, intricate actions in the studio, in the landscape, and the environment of the Alentejo. These works are collaborations with photographer Luís Branco, who has documented these actions and added his unique sense of the visual world and of the photographic image.

In these multi-layered works, Wiggins has found a profound connection to the archetypal / mythical feminine in the environment near Evoramonte (Herdade da Marmeleira). Here she meets her Self again, merging with other Selves that are buried deep within her psyche and indeed within the souls of all women. A queen trapped in a tower, for example, observes the environment before her at the fortress at Evoramonte; a goddess both powerful and vulnerable in the canyon of Pego do Sino, a woman in a black gown performs a strange dance on the white canvas ground, and a mother emerges, herself reborn, from a red flower. These and others recall classic characters in mythology and fairy tale, reflecting universal concerns in contemporary terms in a mystic, primordial landscape.

Wiggins first visited the Foundation OBRAS for an artistic residency in 2015 and returned in the fall of 2016 to make new works, and continue her collaboration with Branco. The title of the exhibition is Reencontrando–a / Meeting Her Again. This exhibition was made possible because of the support of Foundation OBRAS and the generous hospitality of the Câmara de Estremoz and the Municipal Museum Prof. Joaquim Vermelho.

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Meeting Her Again – Evoramonte, black and white photograph, 47 x 32 inches, 2015

Sherry Wiggins is an interdisciplinary artist and a global art activist. Her work is reflective, often participatory, and rooted within cultural difference, spiritual transformation, social justice and women’s issues. She is concerned with art as a specifically feminine/feminist relational process and enactment. Since 2013 Wiggins has been working on an international project titled Searching Selves. Through extensive research and consideration she identifies artists whose work corresponds with her own in content, process, and/or material. These investigations have led her to Portuguese conceptualist Helena Almeida (b.1934), Russian-American avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren (1917-1961), and Indian minimalist Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990), among others. Her intensive research and process is documented on her blog: https://sherrywigginsblog.com/ . Exhibitions of her work include venues in China, Europe, India, Korea, Mexico, the Middle East, South America, as well as in Colorado and throughout the United States. She received both BFA (1988) and MFA (2005) degrees from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She lives in Boulder, Colorado. Website: http://sherrywiggins.com/

Luís Branco is a Portuguese photographer living in Évora. He began his career as a photojournalist at the Jornal Público in Lisbon. He was also an assistant professor at the Portuguese Institute of Photography, in the photojournalism section. Since 2002, Luís Branco has worked as a freelance photographer, specialising in events and in architecture. One of Branco’s passions is fine art photography. He currently collaborates in the area of photojournalism with Global Imagens, a company that provides images to several national newspapers and periodicals. In 2015 Branco started a collaboration with GMT, a company dedicated to the production of documentaries on culture and on institutions. In 2016 he collaborated with the Dutch poet Gerry van der Linden, which resulted in a book and an exhibition, both entitled A Stranger in the Alentejo.

Museu Municipal Prof. Joaquim Vermelho, Estremoz 268 339 219

Foundation OBRAS   http://www.obras-art.org  268 959 007

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Meeting Her Again – Canyon of the Bells, black and white photograph, 47 x 32 inches, 2016

Selecting “God’s Eye” – posted in Boulder, CO December 2nd, 2016

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I have been selecting images from the work I accomplished last year at the Obras Artist Residency working with Luis Branco, Rui Fernandes and Cydney Payton to put in the exhibit I have with Luis Branco in Estremoz, Portugal at the  Palacio dos Marqueses da Praia e Monforte in January 2017, yes that is next month! I am re-looking at this whole series of images that we made on the terrace at Herdade de Marmelaire in October of 2015. Rui Fernandes was operating the camera on the drone and Cydney and Luis were directing. I am going to select two of these images for the show and I kind of love them all 🙂 – what a dilemma! Also thank you to Bella Newell for the beautiful red and black fabric construction.

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there’s Cydney fixing and directing

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These are just drafts. Not sure which ones to choose for the show?

 

 

Exhibition in Portugal in January 2017! – posted in Portugal – November 4th, 2016

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Reencontrando-a / Meeting Her Again, Sherry Wiggins in collaboration with Luis Branco,  2015

Artworks produced at the Obras Art Residency, Evoramonte, Portugal

http://www.obras-art.org/obras-portugal.html

Artist Sherry Wiggins (USA) in collaboration with

photographer Luis Filipe Branco (Portugal)

Title: Reencontrando-a / Meeting Her Again

Sherry Wiggins came to Portugal and to the Obras Art Residency -inspired by the remarkable work of Portuguese conceptual artist Helena Almeida. Almeida has used her body and simple spaces to make photographs often elaborated with blue or red paint since the late 1960’s. Wiggins own artwork combines the mediums of drawing, installation, performance, photography and sculpture – methods that she has used for the last three decades.

Wiggins uses her own body, with red, black and white fabric, in photographs that unite elements of drawing, installation and the performance of small, nuanced, intricate actions in the studio and in the Portuguese landscape and environment of the Alentejo. These works are collaborations with photographer Luis Filipe Branco, who has documented these actions and added his unique sense of the visual world and of the photographic image. Wiggins also worked with Rui Fernandes to capture images from above with a camera on a drone in the series titled Performing the Drawing / Realizar o Desenho. Curator and writer Cydney M. Payton was involved in many stages of these works both in Portugal and in the U.S. Wiggins has experimented with drawing on some of the photographic images with graphite and red and black paint. These works layer the physical experience, psychic process, photographic image, as well as the materials of the artist.

In these multi-layered works, Wiggins has found a profound connection to the archetypal / mythical feminine in the environment near Evoramonte (the Herdade de Marmelaire). Here she meets her Self again, merging with other Selves that are buried deep within her psyche, and indeed, within the souls of all women ─ for example, a queen trapped in a tower observing the environment before her; the goddess of the ravine both powerful and vulnerable; a woman in a black gown performing a strange dance on the white canvas; a mother, emerging, herself reborn, from the red flower; a matriarch whose feet are planted firmly on the ground, at home between the earth and sky. These and others recall classic characters in mythology and fairy tale, reflecting universal concerns in contemporary terms in a mystic, primordial landscape.

Wiggins first visited the Obras Artist Residency in 2015, and then returned in the fall of 2016 to make new works, and to collaborate with Luis Branco again. Wiggins will return again in January to exhibit a selection of these art works made in Portugal. The title of the exhibition is Reencontrando –a / Meeting Her Again.

This exhibition was made possible because of the generous support of the Obras Art Residency.

An exhibition at the:

Palacio dos Marqueses da Praia e Monforte

Estremoz, Portugal

Dates of the exhibition: January 28th to March 11th 2017

Opening Saturday January 28th, 2017

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Reencontrando-a / Meeting Her Again, Sherry Wiggins in collaboration with Luis Branco,  2015