Meditation Drawings – posted in Boulder July 9th, 2017

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Sherry Wiggins, Meditation Drawings, graphite and red pencil on paper, eighteen drawings each 10″ x 12″ framed, 1999

I am thinking about drawing practices again, my own as well as my pantheon of women drawers listed in my recent blog. This set of drawings I call Meditation Drawings. I drew them in 1999 while I was taking a class with sculptor James Surls at Anderson Ranch. The class was called “A Search for Self.” I was in a funny place in my art life – tired of the constraints of large-scale installation and public art that I had been involved with. James is a wonderful artist and a generous and inspiring teacher. I just didn’t really want to make sculpture, he supported me in developing a drawing practice.

I found the well known book “Tantra Art” by Ajit Mookerjee in the library at Anderson Ranch. There is a meditation practice described in the book that broadly outlines a visualization practice. At the time I was not a practicing Buddhist and had little training in this. I also found in the book some ancient devotional text alluding to the Great Goddess Chandi Devi. I took 20 words from this prayer to the Goddess (in Hindu and Buddhist traditions there are many devotional practices to many Goddesses).

The words are – Consciousness Reason Sleep Hunger Shadow Energy Thirst Forgiveness Species Bashfulness Peace Faith Loveliness Fortune Vocation Memory Compassion Fulfillment Mother Illusion

I initiated my own meditation and visualization practice utilizing the instructions and these 20 words from the “Tantra Art” book. Following are some of the individual drawings. They are all either 8” x 8” or 8” x 10”. They are just graphite and some red pencil on paper. I later matted them and framed them in frames that are 10 x 12 as pictured above. This practice was transformational for me – a new way to articulate outer and inner worlds.

 

1 72 consiousness 098Consciousness

 

2 72 Reason 110Reason

 

3 72 Sleep 109Sleep

 

8 72 foregiveness 102Forgiveness

 

10 72 bashfulness 101Bashfullness

 

15 72 vocation 099Vocation

 

12 72 faith 107Faith

 

6 72 energy 108Energy

I am reviewing these rituals and exercises and drawings of eighteen years ago because I think it might be the best drawing practice I have ever done, conceptually and materially. There is a simplicity to the idea and the carry through.

 

 

 

 

 

drawing practice – my evolving pantheon of women drawers of the 20th Century – posted in Colorado July 2017

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LOUISE BOURGEOIS, I want to…, c. 1962

I am continuing my research on women artists of the 20th Century – now on women artists who have drawn as part of their artistic practice. Instead of focusing on a single artist’s work, I have been developing a pantheon of women artists/drawers of the 20th Century. Here are a few of my qualifications for inclusion in my pantheon:

– I really love/admire the artist’s drawing works (and other parts of their artistic practice) both conceptually and aesthetically

– that there is some relationship in material and content to my own artistic and drawing practice

– that there is some relationship to environmental, feminist, philosophical, political or spiritual practice that I want to examine in more detail

 

I – Helena Almeida, Portuguese, (1934)

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HELENA ALMEIDA, study for the series Seducir / Seduce, 2002

 

II – Louise Bourgeois, born in France /American, (1911 – 2010)

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LOUISE BOURGEOIS. Insomnia Drawing, c. 1994-1995

 

III – Vija Celmins , born in Latvia /American, (1938)

Drypoint - Ocean Surface 1983 by Vija Celmins born 1938

VIJA CELMINS, Ocean, 1975

 

IV – Ellen Gallagher, American, (1965)

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ELLEN GALLAGHER, Host, 1996

 

 V – Susan Hefuna, German / Egyptian, (1962)

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SUSAN HEFUNA, Building (in nine parts), 2009

 

VI – Eva Hesse , born in Germany / American, (1936-1970)

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EVA HESSE, Untitled, 1966

 

VII – Hilma af Klint, Swedish, (1862 – 1944)

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HILMA AF KLINT, Series 11, No. 3a, The Buddha’s Standpoint in the Earthly Life, 1920

 

VIII – Anna Maria Maiolino. born in Italy / Brazilian (1942)

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ANNA MARIA MAIOLINO, Desde A ate M (from A to M) from the series Mapas Mentais (Mental Maps), 1972 – 99

 

IX – Agnes Martin, born in Canada/ American, (1912 – 2004)

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AGNES MARTIN, Untitled, c. 1960

 

X – Nasreen Mohamedi, Indian, (1937-1990)

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NASREEN MOHAMEDI, Untitled

 

XI – Ree Morton, American , (1936 – 1977)

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REE MORTON, Untitled, c. 1972

 

XII – Mira Schendel, born in Switzerland / Brazilian, (1919 – 1988)

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MIRA SCHENDEL, Untitled from the series Graphic Objects, c. 1972

 

XIII – Atsuko Tanaka, Japanese, (1932 – 2005)

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ATSUKO TANAKA, Round on Sand, 1968

This is an evolving pantheon.  I have 13 artists in my drawing pantheon at this point. If you have any suggestions for me let me know. Vija Celmins comes to me via Cydney Payton’s suggestion and Atsuko Tanaka was suggested by Sandra Firmin. I am excited about researching all these artists drawing practices and continuing to develop my own drawing practice in the coming months.

 

space and subjectivity / espaço e subjetividade – posted in Boulder June 7, 2017

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left image: Helena Almeida, Pintura Habitada, 1977, black and white photograph with acrylic paint, 40 x 30cm. right image: Sherry Wiggins, untitled, digital color image, 2015, (image by Robert Kittila).

This post describes some of the correspondences and differences in my recent work and Helena Almeida’s work – in particular in regards to space and subjectivity.

“To try and open up a space, to get out at any cost, it’s a very strong feeling throughout my work. It has become a matter of condemnation and survival. I feel myself virtually always on the borderline, where these two spaces meet, wait, hesitate and quiver. It is a temptation to stop there and watch my inner process, living in a dream in two directions. But this is unbearable and swiftly something comes out of me, as if trying to surpass me. Anyway, I have succeeded to come out through my finger tips.” – Helena Almeida 1978 

“Intentar abrir un espacio, saír custe o que custe, é un sentimento moi forte nos meus traballos. Converteuse nunha cuestión de condena e de super vivencia. Síntome case sempre no limiar no cal eses dous espacios se atopan, agardan, dubidan e vibran. É unha tentación ficar e asistir ó meu propio proceso, vivindo un soño con dúas direcccións. Pero iso é intolerable e, apresuradamente, calquera cousa se libera en min como se quixese saírme ó paso.De todos modos, xa consgeuín saír poa punta dos meus dedos.”- Helena Almeida 1978

I recently found this quote by Helena Almeida in the catalogue from her exhibition in 2000 at the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. I love the way she talks about space and her relationship to it, I have a similar physiological and primal relationship with space – in art and life.

I chose Helena Almeida as the subject for my “embodied research” project (thank you for the term Sandra Q. Firmin) because of my deep interest in and appreciation for her work both conceptually and aesthetically. I admire her diligent art practice where she has used her body as the subject in her work over the last 5 decades. I love the minimalism of her serial black and white images. I like how the blue paint alters your perception of the space of the photograph. Is it a photograph? Is it a performance? Is it a painting? I particularly admire the way she deals with the feminine subject – using her own body to convey inner states of mind without signaling a personal or autobiographical narrative. There is a naturalness and lack of conceit in her work, even though it is meticulously thought out. There are no costumes or disguises- she wears black clothing or white clothing, black shoes, it is always very simple. She choreographs her body in the basic space /neutral space of her studio/atelier.

 

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Helena Almeida, three images from the series Pintura Habita / Inhabited Painting, 1975, black and white photographs with acrylic paint, each 46 x 50cm.

 

In the above works from the series titled Inhabited Paintings  Almeida wrestles with the space by painting the photograph/performance with her signature blue paint. The blue paint alters the action so that there are several levels of dimension and space and time. The original actions in the mirrored space offer the image of Almeida both “real” and reflected, then Almeida paints on the image – she paints on the reflected image of herself as well as the “real” image of herself. Almeida is constantly questioning the spaces her body is occupying. What is the back? What is the front? What is the reflection?  I think this questioning of the space is very sophisticated and interesting.

 

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Helena Almeida, Ponto de Fuga / Vanishing Point, 1982, Black and White Photograph, 210 x 126 cm

 

29 72 helena-almeida-negro-espesso-1981 copy 2Helena Almeida, Thick Black / Negro Espesso, 1981, Black and White Photograph, 250 x 126cm.

 

The two works above of Almeida’s, Thick Black and Vanishing Point, were inspiration for the works I first made in the studio and on the terrace of the Obras Artist Residency in 2015. Almeida chose paper as the ground and I chose white artist canvas for the floor of the studio at Obras. The Obras studio is pictured below.  I placed various cloth constructions  – a red rosette, a black square with a chair, a circular piece, and a rectangular construction on the white canvas ground. These cloth constructions reference my own geometric drawings. When I entered these flat fabric constructions on the ground of the studio and the terrace, I considered that I was “inhabiting” these geometric spaces in a similar manner to Almeida’s idea of her “Inhabited Paintings.” Photographer Luís Branco climbed up to the top of the ladder to shoot this series of images and it is an odd and distorted perspective. There is a strange sense of dimensionality and space in these images and of my interactions with these spaces.

 

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The studio at Obras Artist Residency with the white canvas and red rosette.

 

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Sherry Wiggins, Flower/ Flor, 2015, series of three color photographs, (images by Luís Branco).

 

I am coiled “within” the flower then I am emerging “out of” the flower. The texture of the red cloth of the flower and the white canvas background also offers another illusion of dimension and space in the images.

 

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Sherry Wiggins, series of four Chair/Cadeira, 2015, color photographs, 24 x 24 in. each, (images by Luís Branco).

 

I am pushing into space behind me in the chair, I am escaping and emerging from the two-dimensional space into the three dimensional space of the chair. The space is both “real” and illusionary.

 

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Sherry Wiggins, series of four, Chair/Cadeira, 2015, color photographs, 24 x 24 in. each, (images by Luís Branco). Installation at the Palacio in Estremoz, Portugal.

We installed these Chairs on the floor on black cloth for the exhibit in the Palacio in Estremoz.

 

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Sherry Wiggins, Performing the Drawing, 2015, nine color images, each 24 x 24in. (images by Rui Fernandes). Sherry Wiggins, Flower, 2015, color image, 48 x 48in. (image by Luís Branco). Installation at the Michael Warren Contemporary Gallery, Denver, CO.

Performing the Drawing is shown installed above. I am not sure why this series of nine images are so successful but I think it has to do with the real and illusionary layers of space and dimension in the images. These images were taken with a camera on a drone on the terrace at the Obras Artist Residency by Rui Fernandes.

 

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Sherry Wiggins, Performing the Drawing, 2015, one of nine color images, each 24 x 24in. (images by Rui Fernandes).

 

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Shooting Performing the Drawing on the terrace of the Obras Artist Residency. (image by Rui Fernandes)

 

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Sherry Wiggins, Performing the Drawing, 2015, one of nine color images, each 24 x 24in. (images by Rui Fernandes).

 

There are several levels of space and dimension in this series of nine images– the flat terrace outside the studio, the crinkled white canvas, the figure in the black cloth (me) gesturing, the blue shadow cast on the figure(s), the upright second figure (Cydney Payton) adjusting the fabric. The photograph then collapses all these other dimensions into a wholly new dimension. Even the pixilation of the image adds a sense of spaciousness to these images.

After working in the studio and on the terrace with the white canvas cloth I wanted to work outside in specific architectural and natural settings in Portugal. Almeida works almost exclusively in the space of her studio. This was a definite departure from Almeida’s practice back towards my own –  the landscape and architectural environments have always played a large part in my work. Regardless of the spaces and environments I am performing or inhabiting within, I am still searching for a similar sense of the female subject which is not autobiographical nor portraiture and is similar to Almeida’s sense of subject.

Filipa Oliveira, a curator at the Forum Eugenio de Almeida in Evora, wrote about the way Almeida portrays herself in her work.

“Helena Almeida refuses the concept of self-portrait as a transparent reproduction of an individual personality. There isn’t an autobiographical aspect in her work: she is not herself. The spectator who attempts to unravel the subject author in her portrait is left wanting. Her images usurp a tautological desire for meaning that the immediate and pseudo-transparent nature of photography seems to allow. She takes on a mask-without ever recurring to disguises or makeup – in order to be photographable. As the main character in her works, Almeida introduces in them a paradoxical element: while she makes the author visible (and never stops being the author), the artist continuously postpones the possibility of knowing her identity.” – Filipa Oliveira, from the catalogue Helena Almeida: Inside Me, pg. 7.

 

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Sherry Wiggins, Woman on Evoramote, 2015, black and white image, 48 x 32in, (image by Luís Branco)

There is a sense of the spaciousness of the earth and the sky and of the woman’s /my connection to the vast horizon. I am on top of the mountain at Evoramonte. The image is still quite abstract and the feminine subject is “any woman” albeit an older woman. In these more specific settings a sense of the mystical and mythical feminine starts to emerge. In these images outside you see more clearly how I tend to use my body to relate to spaces, while Almeida tends to use her body to create space, like in her images below.

 

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Helena Almeida, I Am Here, 2005, black and white photograph, 125 x 145 cm.

I think there is a similar though more abstract sense of feminine presence in Almeida’s series I Am Here above and also in her series Inside of Me below. It does seem archtypal and primal as well.

 

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Helena Almeida, Inside of Me, 2000, black and white photograph.

 

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Sherry Wiggins, Woman in the Canyon of the Bells, 2016, black and white photograph, 48 x 32in (image by Luís Branco).

 

In this final image above that Luís Branco took during a photo-shoot in November of 2016 I am still performing the feminine in a Helena-ish way. But the mystery and beauty of the place dominates. This place is called the Pego do Sino or Canyon of the Bells. It is as if I am part of this place/ space. Luis took 100’s of images over several shoots and hours to get this one. I think this is the mistresspiece /masterpiece of the collaboration in Portugal. I wonder what Helena would think?

I will end with a quote by Helena Almeida. This quote and the quote at the beginning  of the post are both from the catalogue from Almeida’s exhibition in 2000 at the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. I love reading her own words (translated in English) and her concept of plurality vs. subjectivity. I think this is similar to my own sense of  portraying / performing an archetypal presence or a more universal feminine subjectivity.

“They’re not self-portraits because I don’t find in them my own subjectivity, but rather my plurality, which I make appear in a kind of stage setting. Would that they were self-portraits! In any case, I can say that they are stage settings executed within a small or sometimes large format (in the sense painting/theatre) in which I appear as a fictional character. These scenes are made as if they were the narrative of a spark –appearance / disappearance – recounted with the silence of sign language, projections which I would like to contain the deep sound of the body; images that tell what happens before the image, before movement as thought, before history and, above all before intentionality. And to be able to see them move into the sumptuous category of the meaningful. I’ve wanted to make a great effort to try working with that empty, and dense dimension of pre-movement, of pre-event, with its dark, deformed weight. A kind of penultimate expression.” – Helena Almeida 1994

Non son autorretratos, posto que non atopo neles a miña subxectividade, senón o meu plural, ó que fago comparecer nunha especie de escena. Serán autorretratos! Sen embargo, podo dicer que son postas en escena executadas nun pequeno, ou por veces grande, encadre (nosentido do cadro / teatro), no que aparezo coma unha ficción. Estas escenas fanse coma se fosen a narrativa dunho escintilación, dunha aparición / desaparición contada co silencio da linguaxe dos xordos. Proxeccións que quero que conteñan o son do corpo profundo. Imaxes que contan o que acontece antes da imaxe, antes do movement como pensamento, antes da historia e, sobre todo, antes da intencionalidade. E, especialmente, velas pasadas á categoría suntuosa do significante. Quixen sentir nun esforzo supremo esa zona baleira e densa do pre-movemento, do pre-acontecemento co seu peso escuroe deforme. Nunha especie de penúltima expresión. – Helena Almeida 1994

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:

VALIE-EXPORT1VALIE-EXPORT3VALIE-EXPORT4VALIE-EXPORT5VALIE-EXPORT6VALIE-EXPORT8VALIE-EXPORT7VALIE-EXPORT9VALIE-EXPORT10VALIE-EXPORT11VALIE-EXPORT2

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/