IN THE SPACE OF A DAY
Artist Statement written for her solo show, July 2017
How does one move through a day?
Created in watercolor on 31 panels of rice paper, In the Space of a Day (the title piece of the series) plays with the representation of clouds as they illuminate and fade in the sky within a single day. Built around the confluence of two opposite points of view, (the earth, immobile under our feet, versus the ever-changing nature of the sky), the work is animated by the use of air conditioning that gives each panel a life of its own as a constant draft – as well as the movement of the viewers – disrupt the fragile stillness of the paper. Strategically placed benches invite the viewer to sit, rest, and bask in 3 specific passages of time: dawn, mid-day, and dusk.
Small drawings, in both silver point and graphite, continue the series. They also represent clouds, this time in black and white with minimal color added sometimes and in a much smaller scale.
Because our movements and moods are always shaped by our environment, (objects around us, time, light, and our general perception of reality), we are engaged, willingly or not, in a constant back and forth with Nature that keeps pushing back as we find, or more exactly elbow our way for, our place in the world.
By proposing a large-scale ever-moving installation and much smaller drawings, I question the dominance of humankind over its environment, and assert it is all, at best, a subtle gripping dance of give and take.
On the one hand, the sheer size of the installation and its fleeting nature makes it impossible for the viewer to take it in in one encompassing look. On the other hand, the much smaller drawings seem to be more manageable, or easier to “consume”. Yet, the meticulous method applied to these drawings, a slow and precise build up requiring much patience, creates a similar experience for the viewer, albeit in a very different environment, as they require time to be fully grasped. The installation and the drawings serve an identical purpose; they act as metaphor and invite the viewer to contemplate spaces that depict inner and external turmoil.
When one speeds through one’s day, the only constant reminder of something greater happens when one looks up and sees clouds, always ephemeral, always at the mercy of the next unpredictable draft. They act as a reminder to slow down and see beyond our everyday struggles. The urgency of drawing clouds came from a need to humanize the forces I cannot control. I wanted to bring the idea of nature into its exact opposite: manmade environments.
Thus, In the Space of a Day, as a series, is an exercise in contemplation. It asks everyone to let go, not of the pressure they feel from their environment, but of the pressure they exert on it. It is a mindful way to take in a moment of absolute balance between oneself and the world. It is a meditative experience: a call for peace.