“Storefronts South Lake Union presents the last round of installations in 2018- The year is comprised of three rounds themed around the concept of building relationships with cities, people, and nature. In this third round we explore the works of artists exploring issues related to nature – a study of terrain, habitat, and the systems that support or degrade the very ground we stand on. Join us in reflecting on the strength and fragility of our shared Earth” – Hanako O’Leary, Storefronts Program Coordinator
All SLU Storefronts Locations are at the corner of Terry or Boren on given cross streets:
ARTIST: Carolyn Hitt
I think a lot about time and the depth of information coursing through our DNA. I think about reincarnation and karma and lifetimes of connections playing out day to day. I think about inexplicable familiarity and pods of community. I think of the cosmic and the anatomic, the cellular and the solar. I think of all our similarities distracted by and distanced through nuanced and targeted programming. I think of where we all come from. And when. And the hundreds of millions of lives that have been lived since then. The abstract expression of my work reflects these thoughts as well as influences of prehistoric art and ancient architecture from around the world.
ARTIST: June Sekiguchi
WORK: Water Flow
I make sculptures and large scale immersive installations that involve intensely manipulating material that is pattern based, modular and site responsive. My practice processes, deconstructs, and re-structures a form, focusing on metaphorical rather than literal interpretations of the source material. Each project addresses new concepts leading to experimenting with new materials. I am particularly interested in metaphors that lead to the intersection of science, spirit and art. The primary medium I use is engineered wood panels using a scroll saw to cut pattern with which I create forms that address cultural identity, cross cultural exchange, and personal narratives. I explore diversity and commonality of cultures through the interplay of surface pattern and structural form with a deeper meaning of pattern in humanity, and more intimately, personal patterns of habit. My work is a way of processing significant personal rites of passage and concerns about the world around me.
ARTIST: Henry Cowdery
LOCATION: Harrison East
My current body of work considers the relationship between the natural world and the built environment. I explore the scaled structure of the universe as well as the earth’s impact on human-made objects from all time periods and locations. I seek to create works that underscore the brevity of human existence on this vast, prolific, but ultimately apathetic earth. Working primarily in large scale charcoal drawings and sculpture, I am inspired by the crippling scale and strength of the ocean and its water cycle, the eons of erosion and tension that form mountain ranges and the opaque, mysterious weight of human history. I am also intrigued by the relationship (or contradiction) between nature’s chaos and the Platonic ideals of humankind, such as the right angle or systems of measurement. Against the backdrop of the infinite and fecund indifference of the earth, I explore fragile human constructs of value, meaning and creation with intention.
ARTIST: Beth Howe
WORK: Iona Drawings
The Iona Series is a collaborative project combining computer coding and drawing. Artists Beth Howe and Clive McCarthy want to bridge the creative work of coding with the creative work of visual art practices that engage with materials (like wood, paper, clay or paint). Can we make the code ‘material’? Can the metaphor of the hand of the artist be extended to the writing of the code?
To translate between the realm of code and the realm of ‘stuff’, we’ve written custom code to build images from digital photographic data. The code-derived images are output on our CNC machine. Designed for milling hard materials like wood and plastics, we switched the cutting tools with an ink pen and draw directly onto paper.
Underneath the permutations of code, the images are of commonplace, and yet monumental, human interventions in the landscape: bridges, warehouses, and piles of navigational debris pulled out of the Fraser River on Iona Spit in British Columbia. Our culture is increasingly shaped by the essential – but invisible to most of us – algorithmic infrastructures ‘underneath it all’. How does this ‘hand’ guide the way we visualize the world? How can artists guide this hand in making objects for the material world?
In the process of making – coding, cutting, printing, drawing, re-coding, and re-drawing – we see translation generate noise. From the eye surveying a scene, to the capture by the camera, to the algorithm, to the line-code of a milling machine, to finally ink on paper, there are many opportunities for mutation. The image passes through a string of languages like a game of telephone and the image is rearranged, degraded, glitched, transformed. The most exciting moments for us are the drawing ‘decisions’ that betray the machine at the helm, but don’t look rational.
ARTIST: Graham Murtough
WORK: Resisting development, resisting ruin
LOCATION: Thomas East
Environment is one of the largest influences in my work. Wherever I may be working, the colour palate, the local plants or municipal structures quickly get absorbed into my visual vocabulary. My time in London can be encapsulated by ‘The Relative Value of Convention II.” The title of this work refers to the implicit violence of our accepted cultural values and unquestioned social norms. The ever-obsessive drive towards new urban development and expansion is an example of this violence, and has become a particular preoccupation of mine. As we face environmental catastrophe, I find the two are completely at odds, and the dissonance is observably remarkable. I use some of the visual language of the construction site to refer to this stark absurdity. Our day to day tension is physically interrupted by a collapse of ideals or some sort of life changing event. What follows is a surprisingly uplifting sense of renewal and hope.
In many of the works I create there is a sense that an event has already taken place, and I am interested in creating a kind of material and affective aftermath. By combining everyday materials with found objects, plants and idiosyncratically crafted sculptures, I seek to create an environment where the viewer can experience conflicting sensations, where there is protection, interruption and exclusion all at once. The vibrant plants serve as a living return to civility. I aim to create a kind of material tension, a physical dissonance and unease which gives way to something greater.
ARTIST: Joy Hagen
WORK: Variations on a Theme
LOCATION: Thomas West
The daughter of a forester, my childhood was spent exploring logging roads and hiking and camping deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. It also provided the opportunity to live in the Philippines and Panama. Surrounded by a forest of significant trees in my own backyard, I use encaustic medium to depict environments that speak to remembered moments through selected bits and pieces from the natural world, usually with a reference to trees. Forests are my sanctuary and inspiration and artmaking is my visual song of praise. Encaustic medium is my preferred method for capturing moments from the natural world. I use reclaimed wood cut to various sizes as a base for creating assembled landscapes. Each piece becomes a means of capturing favorite elements from my natural surroundings. Wax, resin, and wood are more than simply the materials used to create my product. They are of the forest and provide the complexities of emotion inherent in their use.
ARTIST: Melanie Masson
“Passage” is a survey of leading lines on the North American landscape. Every glacier, wheel, and footfall that carved these lines bore a purpose, the sheer repetition branding a deeper promise of worth into the soil. Following these pathways, which by nature branch one to another, similarly connect us to past travelers while guiding us toward the futures we seek – each generation driven by the same prospects as the one before: change, destination, hopes we intend to plant at the end of the lines.
ARTIST: Danielle Dean
WORK: We are Salt Water
LOCATION: Harrison East
An Island can be a refuge. Evoking feelings of escape and solitude, beauty and abundance. For eleven years, I lived and worked on San Juan Island, a seven mile stretch of land in the Salish Sea. In creation myths, islands portray the beginnings of consciousness. On San Juan Island the native tribe, the Coast Salish, believed that Mitchell Bay, located in the northwest part of the island, was their Garden of Eden. It is a thin place – a Celtic description of a place where the veil between heaven and earth seems thinner.
An Island can also serve as a canary in a coal mine. Life is directly tied to nature on an immediate measurable scale. Changing tides erode the land. Ocean acidification shifts a delicate balance, affecting food sources for all. Most residents know the current head count of the megafauna, celebrating births and mourning deaths. It is a sense of place directly connected to events in nature, a form of immersion, a language and culture of the earth. I use to swim in the sea. I would get suited up for long periods in the cold waters. I would set my eyes directly on the water line; the ocean expanding below and the sky stretching above. The two elements blending in harmonies of blue.
I want my work to inhabit the threshold between vastness and intimacy. I am interested in working with the dimensional space of photography in new ways by combining traditional photographic techniques with painting, printmaking, and small sculptures. My images begin with black and white film exposed through antiquated lenses. The old optics allow the light and atmosphere to impress themselves on the silver of the film. With the steel and lead, I am working in collaboration with the sea and earth of the island to patina the objects. The work is about light, the elements, the alchemy of nature and chance.