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
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.
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.
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