Saturday, October 30, 2010

Etruscan Relic
(Exhibition - ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions)

Jeanne Raffer Beck (USA)

This blogspot contains posts of artworks that have featured in my curated international exhibition - ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions. For your convenience I have listed these posts below.
ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions (Marie-Therese Wisniowski - Curator's Talk)
Sequestration of CO2 (Engaging New Visions) M-T. Wisniowski
Sacred Planet I (Engaging New Visions) J. Dunnewold
Under Pressure (Engaging New Visions) L.A. Beehler
lo Rising II & Giza (Engaging New Visions) R. Benson
Catch The Light 1 & 2 (Engaging New Visions) J. Schulze
Emerge (Engaging New Visions) J. Truckenbrod
Breathe Deeply (Engaging New Visions) C. Benn
Die Gedanken Sind Frei 3 & 4 (Engaging New Visions) C. Helmer
Black Birds I & II (Engaging New Visions) C. Holmes
Autumn Visions I & II (Engaging New Visions) J. Petruskeviciene
Razing/Raising Walls, Warsaw (Engaging New Visions) N. Starszakowna
Quite Alone Oasis… (Engaging New Visions) J. Urbiene
Nothing Is The Same I & II (Engaging New Visions) E. van Baarle
Discharge Thundercloud (Engaging New Visions) K. Kagajo
Shroud Of Ancient Echoes I & II (Engaging New Visions) S. Fell-McLean
Cane Toad Narrative (Engaging New Visions) H. Lancaster
Visionary and Eclipse (Engaging New Vision) J. Ryder
Untitled ArtWorks (Engaging New Vision) Tjariya (Nungalka) Stanley and Tjunkaya Tapaya
Treescape (Engaging New Vision) A. Trevillian

Instalments of artists statements and a snapshot of their work in the exhibition will feature on a weekly basis.

The catalog of the exhibition is far more detailed in terms of opening addresses and artist’s biographies, curriculum vitae and statements etc. and moreover, is a holistic record of the exhibition itself.

Synopsis of Artwork:Etruscan Relic
A lifelong wordsmith, I combine fragments of found letters, diaries and journals from the late 19th and early 20th centuries with invented letter forms inspired by ancient texts. This juxtaposition invites a consideration of human cultures over time. Like an archeological site, these fragments can be excavated but do not always fit together; some questions about the past remain forever hidden or undecipherable.

After spending well over two decades as a professional writer, these past twelve years working as a visual artist have given me new perspectives on words and text. Discovering old, handwritten letters and diaries holds a strong personal connection as well; journaling has been a longstanding practice for me. Old diaries and journals differ greatly in vocabulary and structure from contemporary writing, even though they were written over the past 150 years. Yet it is the calligraphic form of these writers’ penmanship that fascinates me more than the content. Even the existence of such documents seems poignant, since handwritten correspondence has virtually disappeared from contemporary culture.

In addition to searching for handwritten works, ancient scripts and Asian calligraphy have also inspired my appreciation for the visual nature of written words. Language evolves and alters; each alphabet represents an entire culture and epoch. Even when these ancient scripts cannot be translated, the beauty and mystery contained in the patterns and forms still engage the imagination.

Some of the pieces in my current language series have map-like elements suggesting exploration or charting the boundaries of a territory. Others respond to the conceptual idea of pages – words, ideas and stories contained within books. When we speak a language, the cadence and intonations of the human voice convey as much meaning as the words. Responding to that idea, the writings on these surfaces evoke spoken sounds through the rhythm, spacing and pressure of the marks.

Each piece in this series in some way deconstructs the linear structure of text and incorporates invented letterforms that become their own visual language. Working through the ideas for each piece excavates new associations for the next – an evolution, which like language, is ever changing in the contexts of human culture and personal experience.

Silkscreened, monoprinted, handpainted with dyes and textile paints on silk broadcloth.
Size: 99 cm (width) x 300 cm (length).

(a) Etruscan Relics at Fairfield City Museum and Gallery, New South Wales (second artwork from left - see future and earlier posts for all other artworks).
Photograph courtesy Cedric Boudjema, Director,Fairfield City Museum and Gallery.

(b) Etruscan Relics at Orange Regional Art Gallery, New South Wales (right artwork, left artwork by Laura Beehler - see earlier post).
Photograph courtesy Marie-Therese Wisniowski.

(c) Etruscan Relics at Redcliffe City Art Gallery, Queensland (third artwork from left, see future and earlier posts for all other artworks).
Photograph courtesy Karen Tyler, Director,Redcliffe City Art Gallery.
Photography by Al Sim.

(d) Etruscan Relic - full view.

(e) Etruscan Relic - detailed view.

(f) Etruscan Relic - detailed view.

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