Mnemonic Stoop

Artist Statement

Mnemonic Stoop Loop Gallery October 22 – November 14

Materiality

The etchings used in the composition and construction of this new work, are prints that were re-purposed and transformed into unexpected images and objects. The tree prints began as a documentation of trees that stretch over into both my front and back yards where I currently live. Five different copper plates were etched using sugar lift, hard ground and drypoint techniques. The feather etchings document my collection of feathers gathered on hikes in various parts of the world. The ropes were drawn during a residency in which I was required to travel by ferry often and became familiar with the currency, utility, and aesthetic/metaphoric portent of rope.

Concept

The documentation of the trees evolved into the documentation of houses, specifically the houses in which I have lived in my life. That exercise led to a meditation on houses, homes, back yard accessories, memory, poetry, experience, and space. Serendipitously, I was re-introduced to a philosopher and phenomenologist, Gaston Bachelard, whose book The Poetics of Space, addresses these issues in a perceptive and pithy way. Here are some excerpts from that book, first published in French in 1958 and translated into English in 1964, two years after Bachelard’s death.

The house is one of the greatest powers of integration for the thoughts, memories and dreams of mankind. The binding principle in the integration is the daydream. (6)*

To read poetry is essential to daydream. (17)

The daydream transports the dreamer outside the immediate world to a world that bears the mark of infinity. (183)

The house we were born in is more than an embodiment of home, it is also an embodiment of dreams. (15)

It is a good thing … for a child to have periods of boredom, for him to learn to know the dialectics of exaggerated play and causeless, pure boredom. (16)

Verticality [in a house] is ensured by the polarity of cellar and attic … [that] opens up two very different perspectives for a phenomenology of the imagination. (17)

A house that has been experienced is not an inert box. Inhabited space transcends geometric space. (47)

The well-rooted house likes to have a branch that is sensitive to the wind, or an attic that can hear the rustle of leaves. (52)

Great images have both a history and a prehistory; they are always a blend of memory and legend, with the result that we never experience an image directly. Indeed, every great image has an unfathomable oneiric depth to which the personal past adds special color. (33)

* The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard, translated by Maria Jolas, Orion Press, New York, 1964.

 
 

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