Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Surveying the Landscape | November 2018

In November, Ben Stanwix came from Cape Town where he had already spent a good amount of time on his residency project involving the ways in which we perceive landscape. From that distance, he used google maps to survey the area and then made a gigantic fabric tapestry, titled One, that approximated the digitization he experienced when trying to zoom in.

This strategy continued once Ben arrived - surveying the land and local history from various vantage points and then making work related to the initial perceptions and distortions he encountered. The grid, true north vs. magnetic north, historical images and even the yellow marking on electrical poles all became material for a range of works including drawing, photography, sculpture and assemblage. And the studio was turned into a veritable laboratory for the exploration of materials and form.

Ben gave a wonderful presentation at Artists Tea in Joshua Tree National Park where participants were able to workshop making art pieces using string, ribbon and magnets. Ben also got participants to read texts illustrating the mistranslations that occur when we allow the narrative to run through technology. One was prominently displayed on a rock overlooking the event. 

For his open house on December 22, Ben created a very full exhibition of works with One again presiding over things from the nearby rock pile. The open house for was well attended and the work very well received.

Many thanks to Ben for winging it over from such a distance and for reflecting back the local landscape in such an innovative and comprehensive manner.

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