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 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 :

72 _LB24487

72 _LB24495

72 _LB24511

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


4 thoughts on “the landscape and body as revelation – posted in Colorado March 30, 2017

  1. Thank you, this is lovely (writing and photos)! For some reason, I can’t find many accounts of people’s experiences at Obras Portugal – I’m really glad for this insight about it.


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