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

color and “sketching” on the image in grey, black, red and blue – posted at Obras Oct. 27th, 2016

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These are some more initial “sketches” in Photoshop on digital images I took at the old mill that the Australian artists have cleaned and revealed several weeks ago. I will draw on the printed images with graphite and red, black and possibly blue paint. Again what is drawn and what is inserted and how color effects the image are ideas that I am interested in. The brilliant green of the tree reflects the beautiful green that is re-emerging here in the Alentejo with the “second spring” that the rains bring in October.

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Pego do Sino – drawing on the photograph – posted at Obras October 26th, 2016

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This place “Pego do Sino” or “Canyon of the Bells” is a place I visited last year. Noortje and Akiko led Cydney and I here near sunset. We four women artists had wine and cheese (always in Portugal!) and I was entranced. I did not have a camera with me that evening so I asked Akiko to send me a picture – thank you Akiko.

I wanted to return this year to the “pego”, so Ludger took me back by a new route as soon as I arrived this year. It is quite a mystical and mythical place at any time of the day or in any weather. All these photographs are mine with my Nikon – just thinking /drawing /looking  on this place.

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Last night Luis Pintasilgo translated the word pego. It is not exactly the same word in Portuguese as canyon or ravine. A pego is a place where water collects even when there is no water in other places. The water can be quite deep. There can even be a vortex, something that pulls you down into it. The vortex can also transport you to another world/ place. There is a goddess associated with the pego too, that she might protect the place but she could also be a dangerous goddess.

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I am drawing / scratching with no mouse in Photoshop with black and grey. Just initial “sketches.” Eventually I will draw with graphite and paint with black paint. I also took the black netting or black veil / veu that I brought with me and placed it on the rock and my feet. I like something photographer Luis Branco said when I showed him some of my sketches. You can’t tell what is the drawing and what is the photograph.

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More “sketches” to come soon of other sites / sights here near the Obras Art Residency…

old water mill revealed – posted at the Obras residency in Portugal, October 18, 2016

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Ludger took Norwegian artist Matias and I on a walk to some sites near the Obras Residency that I have not been to. I am scouting for the new/next project I am working on here in the landscape and environment. These images are just “snap shots” I am using to get going.

The old water mill site  pictured above and below is just beautiful and I am thinking about working with this space in altered images, performances and installations. Recent Obras residents, Australian artists Rubi Fiedler and Peter Emptage, worked here for several weeks excavating and removing the dirt, cutting away trees and revealing the remains of this old mill site. After this hard work they created a site-specific “happening” for this place. Unfortunately I did not meet them or attend the happening. It is wonderful to see the stones and bricks, doorways and stairs that climb and move up the hillside with trees surrounding and the sky above.

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I want to utilize these artists hard work in a respectful way. It will not remain in this “pristine” state for long. I am contemplating how to use this site – ideas of transparency, movement, the veil of the landscape, excavation of the old, revelation, transformation, of the architecture and the landscape and perhaps inserting my own body within it as well. I will keep posting as things progress. Ciao.

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