Back home, back in my studio, I'm processing the my experiences from Iceland and the drawings I made, and translating that into print.
:: Marianne Dages, Fragmented I, pencil and watercolor, 2013 ::
Working with fragments, pieces of rope and charcoal I brought home with me, memories of the landscape, spare at first, but bursting with detail under close inspection. Herringbone, the lines of geological time. Layers.
This week a couple studio visits of note. One from Amze Emmons, a founder of Printeresting, and all around delightful printmaker, painter, collaborator, and person. His visit was posted on the site, you can read the article and see pictures here.
And yesterday, I had a visit from Amanda D'Amico and students from The University of the Arts MFA Book Arts and Printmaking Program, great people with a great Tumblr (go there to meet them and see their work). As usual, I forgot to take a picture in the moment and only have the spread of work I put out to show. I had a wonderful time talking with them and hope they stay in touch.
:: the spread of work ::
And I continue to unpack my work from my residency and look at it, starting to think about what it means and where it will take me. I recently had a breakthrough regarding themes in my work, that much of it has to do with translation/mistranslation, and the connection between language and culture.
I had a strange experience while in Iceland. On the way to the residency, I took a long bus ride, exhausted and lacking sleep. In those moments of dozing, I would hear the Icelandic passengers talking to each other and for brief moments, I thought I understood them, and then it would disappear.
I grew up in a bilingual home and I've been losing my second language for years. With the loss of language, I gained the uncanny feeling of distance from parts of myself. In a way, I'm performing a personal archaeology, a unearthing and cataloguing of idiosyncratic symbols, sometimes fragmented, meanings lost. I'm making my dictionary.
I'm starting to unpack my work from Iceland and photograph it. It was a strange and exciting experience to see it for the first time back in the states, in my studio. The light was so different. These are small paintings, about 7" x 11", all paintings, all untitled for now. Gouache, acrylic, graphite, and gesso.
It's been raining here for the last two days and I've been holed up drawing. At night the rain turns icy and brushes the house in gusts. It made me dream that the house was under the ocean swaying between giant seaweed branches.
I'm starting to feel that the end of this residency is looming. Trying to keep simple days and take in the lighting and textures of the landscape, and though they don't figure in my pictures prominently, the people, I'm going to miss the people that have made me feel so welcome here. I'm also looking for the arctic fox...so arctic fox, if you're reading this, please come out and hi. Thank you. :)