More from the exchange between Carly Butler and Gudrun Filipska in the Shelf Gallery untill June 30th.
Image taken from a window of a studio space used by artist Jules Varnedoe in London. Taken through the mesh of an office privacy screen. Photograph Jules Varnedoe. #Ateviews.
We are working on a project to create a folio of images of ‘views’ from Exchange participants windows, here is one of ours.
Elizabeth Schoen’s recent works reflect the complicated minutia of a domestic territory and the tensions between the artists desire for order and the chaos created by her children. Schon makes playful investigation into her own neurosis and her fantasy that she may ‘return to a room one day and find it exactly the way I left it’. This is tempered by her fascination and intrigue at her children’s various installations, arrangements and traces.
Schoen says ‘Suddenly I stop myself from dismantling an unintended installation and for the first time see what they were doing. A haphazard stack of random objects precariously balance as a momentary sculpture. A dinosaur perched on the kitchen table chomps on dry crackers. The leftover meatballs that fit so perfectly through a round hole in a box role around as I pick it up. I am suddenly aware of their tangible existence in our home, the way they shape our space, and the logic and the absurdity behind their explorations’.
The children’s accidental exhibits have become reflective moments for Schon, suspending her desire for order and instead photographing them; a rope stretches wall to wall across a window, perhaps blu-tacked in place, an egg sits incarcerated inside a whisk, maybe forced there by small hands. An arrangement of cushions balances precariously between a sofa, a coffee table, an upturned tricycle and lego pieces in carefully placed rows create beautiful lines of colour.
The children hold no attachment to their creations says Schon, destroying whatever they have elaborately created with gleeful abandon. The photographs are testament to a moment carefully preserved containing the dual desires, for both order and the chaos of a child’s intimate explorations of their home territory.
Schoen’s work feeds into a narrative which perhaps only parents or carers will understand, the interior topographies which need careful navigation and re-exploration when you find yourself at home for long stretches of time, the repetition of domestic chores creating an interior territory which can seem vast and pervasive if not in some way challenged and playfully re-configured.
Untitled photographs – Elizabeth Schoen.
Elizabeth Schoen lives in the Netherlands. She joined the Arts Territory Exchange in January.
latest from the exchange; works sent from Carly Butler
Arts Territory Exchange participant Julia Groves is a multidisciplinary artist with a recent focus on drawing exploring ethnobotanical themes. Her practice is informed by many years working as a horticulturist and by the historical and contemporary traditions of botanical art and illustration and their re-configurations within contemporary drawing practice.
She used Goethian observation techniques to study plant structure, geometry, colour and pattern. Groves engages with specimens in her local landscape and regularly accesses National plant collections such as Bedgebury Pinetum Florilegium.
Her work has as one of its interests the endeavours of Botanical societies in saving and preserving species and the transient territories of specimens gathered from distant parts of the world on seed gathering trips and expeditions. The themes of territory and habitat heavily inform her work and she has an active interest in ethnobotanical investigation and connections whether spiritual, symbolic or cultural, between plants and their place within regional indigenous cultures. Behind the traditional practice of ethnobotany resides the long and complicated history of the Colonial research expedition and the wide network of travel cast by intrepid specimen collectors which led to the formation of the major Botanical gardens such as Kew. Groves work is also often informed by personal itinerancy as she traverses her local topography on foot; reflecting on the plants she finds and their migrant or indigenous territories and the possible journeys of the seeds on their wind blown trajectories.
Groves is in the process of making her own migration from Kent to Suffolk and is using her transition from one territory to another as a catalyst for a new body of work as part of the Arts Territory Exchange.
Arts Territory Exchange participant Georgina Reskala lives in Santa Monica California. Her practice consists of photography using large format and pinhole cameras, She also works with found images and family photographs.
Using long exposures, Reskala takes the ocean and Santa Monica beach in particular, as her subject, she prints (on archival paper or linen) and re-shoots the images many times over.
She is interested in creating a process of constant translation echoed by her bilingual Mexican/American heritage and her frequent movement between the languages of Spanish and English. Learning to live in a state of translation is a motif which heavily informs the work and the sea is symbolic of this process for Reskala, she says ‘The ocean is an endless palimpsest and a daily reminder of my life in another country…I make a conscious effort to make images of the ocean in Spanish and translate them into English. Edit, translate again and go back and forth’.
Reskala admits to being obsessed by repetitive processes- something she sees as akin to swapping between languages, looking for the point at which understanding or recognition begins to dissolve, becoming, in her words ‘like a story written from left to right and read from top to bottom’.
Georgina Reskala is paired up with exchange partner Elizabeth Schoen in the Netherlands.
Nice write up by
On the genesis of the Arts Territory Exchange.
Founded by Gudrun Filipska in 2017, The Arts Territory Exchange is a correspondence program which pairs up artists across the world and opens up a space within which to generate new ideas around our personal territories and topographies, through a simple postal exchange. The Arts Territory Exchange was set up in response to a number of factors, the growing gulf between countryside and urban areas as illustrated by the UK 2016 referendum result and the US election and the difficulty for artists from disenfranchised backgrounds to access residencies and networks through which to develop their practice and further their careers. Read more.