Monday, May 16, 2016

The Quiet Roar of Sydney Croskery

Sydney Croskery discovered BoxoHOUSE during the Joshua Treenial and approached me about doing a project. This was at a particular time when the plans and permit for the artist residence building seemed to be dragging forever and I let her know that I wasn't planning more residencies until things got moving again. Which suited Sydney perfectly - she wanted to come out from LA for a few days, do research and then create a new suite of her wonderful pencil and graphite drawings. Seemed like a perfect match - and it was.

The research period was in October, 2015. Sydney came out and we did an intensive version of the residency immersion including the Integratron, an excellent hike on which I saw my first bighorn sheep, a visit to Bobby at Furstworld and a trip to a solar field. 

The solar field in question is a large installation adjacent to the Coyote Dry Lake bed and is intersected by a road that runs out onto the large open area itself. When we got there, the gates were open on both sides and a maintenance technician was at work on some arrays. Sydney got out of the car and I expected she would head for the area that was unoccupied. No - she chose the one where the technician was at work, went in and spent quite some time examining and photographing. She feels it's always better to snoop in the open than to sneak around and sure enough she was not challenged at all. The field later turned up in one of Sydney's wonderful drawings.

After researching topics and images, Sydney spent a long time considering the space. The studio/exhibition space at BoxoHOUSE is located in front of a spectacular rock pile. Sydney wanted the exhibition to be shown with the door up and for the whole to be an installation. 

After returning to LA, Sydney spent several weeks sorting the images and subjects, entering the images into her database and planning the exhibition as it would sit in the space. I got regular updates and even some preliminary sketches of the artworks which was a welcome opportunity given that I couldn't peek into the process as I would with a resident in studio.

By early February, 2016, Sydney had the suite of works ready and framed. She held a preview at her studio and then brought the pieces to Joshua Tree where I selected some to feature in my booth at the Palm Springs Art Fair. Her large scale drawings drew a lot of attention and drove some of the audience that attended the opening of the exhibition itself which opened a week after the fair. The exhibition was well received with viewers noting how the work created a particular space and how well it all fit with the rocks behind. Sydney captured something very specific about the local desert environment and the exhibition site itself which resonated loudly with a quiet roar.

Many thanks Sydney!