Mar 7, 2014

"Yes and..." 'at Earth Matters' Exhibition chosen as Best of Show

Three photographs from the my series,Touching Ground, were chosen for inclusion in "Earth Matters" at Northwind Gallery exhibit.  February 28 - March 31, 5pm.   Best in Show was awarded to "Yes and..." (shown below) by Juror Michael Paul Miller.  Work was chosen in relationship to the following statement.

Looking through your own personal lens, what is your relationship with the land as material or metaphor? What does the word Earth mean to you? ” . . . the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope” – Wendell Barry

I was considering the importance of finding what and where we can say 'yes' with out energy and attention.  Also drawing from an idea from improvisation....when someone approaches you with something....find a way to say - Yes....and.
Yes and...Haleakala Crater, HI
How can art help?  Rialto Beach, WA
   Hands to ground, Cabo Pulmo, Mexico    
To see background information and more images on my work with gloves see link below
During the March 9th artist lecture juror Michael Paul Miller gave about the exhibition he shared the following comments about my work.
"I awarded “Best in Show” to Gloria’s environmental artwork, “Yes and …” When I asked the artwork if it should receive the award for “Best in Show” and if it truly believed that Earth Matters it then responded in Magic 8 ball fashion with a, “Yes”. How could I argue with that?

Now seriously, when looking at the formal elements of this photo it’s difficult to find anything disagreeable. The image seems perfect. The composition, contrast, and details are spot on and it’s beautifully presented with a simple white matt and thin black frame that enhances the almost grey monochromatic presence of the landscape. However, this artwork is more than a beautiful photo in a frame, it’s about a process that extends beyond the frames borders. One that seems to change locations, shapes, and ideas based on the other works of art Gloria has submitted to the show. In another similar work that appears to be a part of the series she shouts asking, “HOW CAN ART HELP?” The appropriate bumper sticker slogan response is that, “Art saves lives”. Yet it is a serious question that the artist or individual is burdened with and must consider when wanting change for the better. It’s especially overwhelming when that desired change is against the economic interests of the plutocracy.

At first glance the white forms of, “Yes and …” appeared to be feathers carefully placed to form letters in the landscape in an Andy Goldsworthian fashion. After closer inspection I noticed that they were white gloves, which are normally used to handle items of high value. They are also symbolic of the white glove treatment, which provides first class care and service. When placed in context of the landscape they are representative of people as caretakers of the earth. We should handle the environment with white gloves. We should perhaps give Mother Nature the white glove treatment instead of the usual individuals who receive this service and that are also responsible for its demise. Gloria with her limited resources is most likely doing her best to do what she can to care for and service the environment by creating art that can and more importantly does help.

There is a slightly darker and more sinister interpretation that can be found within the work. The illuminating light and heavy atmosphere found in the landscape adds both mysticism and mystery, which brings into question what lies beyond the foreground. It could be a reference to the unknown future that is obscured by either a more optimistic cloud or ominous smog. The word, “Yes” appears as if it were a large Hollywood sign making the fog read as smog. Going even deeper and darker into the artworks reading is the title of the work, which is, “Yes and …”. The ellipsis in the title suggests that some part of our ability to understand what is going on has been omitted as we are then left with unanswered questions and an awkward silence."

Michael Paul Miller
Associate Professor of Art
Peninsula College

No comments: