Monday, August 26, 2013

Trilobites at OWCA exhibition at Portland Center for Performing Arts September-October

Because of the honor to the late Madeline Janovec and the past presidents Joan Glebow and Una Kim, I plan to attend the reception on September 5 (see below). Madeline is an essential connection to the work I've done in Korea and was a good friend for nearly 20 years. We attended numerous conferences, worked on projects, shared meals and each other's houses. I'm so grateful for OWCA's efforts to expand awareness of feminist art and art history in the metro Portland area. The honorees are tireless organizers.


PS The complete title of my work is Trilobites: kootenia burgessensis from the series, The Book of Shadows. I'm so grateful for OWCA publishing my artwork image on their PR, including the printed announcement. The work is 50 (h) x 95 (w) cm, inspired by a visit to the Mt. Stephen trilobite bed in Yoho National Park near Banff, Alberta, part of the Burgess Shale.

Link to exhibition information

Here's a statement I made about this and the other work, a print, which will appear in the exhibition.

The Effect of Snowmelt on Past Cultural Landscapes and The Book of Shadows

 I like to explore different landscape representations to express my personal experiences and cultural interactions with geography. Seeking alternatives to the Western landscape tradition and its relentless desire for control, I currently focus on atmospherics and biological residues such as fossils and ancient human activities. With the approach of pattern and decoration, I can investigate and create a different language of varied traditions including maps, classical and middle eastern mosaics, decorative art, textile design, indigenous paintings and shrine technologies.
Currently I work with acrylic, encaustic, mixed media and printmaking. I like working with handmade paper and enjoy using simple print techniques such as relief and collagraph to express human mimicry of natural processes.
As an artist in residence at North Cascades National Park, I learned from archeologist Bob Mierendorf that to understand wilderness, we must be open to the existence of many past cultural landscapes.
Topographic maps appeal to me because they are created by physically active scientists and engineers who document the terrain directly by walking on it. Intimacy with a place affects our relationship to it. I try to see as much as I can most of the places I depict. Further, erosion and other natural effects reveal the evasiveness of geography to reinforce a static view of landscape. During my visit to Korea in June 2011, I experienced the dramatic landscape transformation from the increased intensity of typhoons, including Meari. There I was impressed by traditional construction and landscaping techniques to work with the effects of massive precipitation.
In the series, The Book of Shadows, I depict fossil residues to create an alternate reading of the landscape through geological clues to life’s effects on our planet.
Visual traditions and themes create a kind of language that exerts a powerful effect on social consciousness. Artists choose particular traditions and themes to explore and alter these ranges of expression. I want to create new narratives that reaffirm our ties to where we live, people who came before, the planet, nature and its cycles.
Alice Dubiel September 2013