Posts Tagged ‘art’

October SÍM Residency in Reykjavík


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Here are some images from my studio at my current residency at SÍM, where I have been working on drawings which I plan to incorporate into a series of  installations with reflected light.* Briefly, the drawings engage both the idea of the souvenir (those objects we take away to commemorate an experience of significance: stones, sea glass, snippets from photographs etc.) along with the idea of the indicator (those markers we leave behind in order to communicate something, sometimes just a gesture of our passing presence: stone cairns, spray painted directives, gratified tags). I think of the vertically stacked wet-into-wet vaguely circular forms–into and against which the more detailed elements are drawn–as cairns themselves. I find many of the objects and images depicted while running and exploring Reykjavík, but many of them come from other places (Berlin) and instances as well.

I’m most interested in the ways in which these drawings on paper, their silver-leafed cut-outs, the reflective surfaces and the light can all interact and create a larger conversation between object and atmosphere, between the taken and the left. As humans generally conflate places, experiences, even dreams in our memories, with this installation I’m hoping to create a space in which such jumbled significance is a felt presence. I’m looking forward to installing what I have so far in the residents’ upcoming exhibition Fault Lines using the spotlights in the gallery at the SÍM House.

* I’m revisiting this fortuitous phenomenon from my solo exhibition Will Have Been in at the University of Nevada, Reno in November 2012.

Will Have Been installation process

All photos by Esther Cuan and Emily Rogers.

Mark and I were just in Reno for two weeks making and installing all the work for my current solo exhibition Will Have Been at the University of Nevada, Reno via a Gallery-as-Studio Residency. Many students an gallery staff were involved in the installation process. We met so many great people while there. Here are some images of the show being installed. Many thanks to all who helped out!


To Arrive Where We Started

To Arrive Where We Started | Amy Sacksteder and Fiona Short

18 August – 15 September 2012

Exhibition Public Reception: Saturday August 18 from 7 to 10pm 

Regular Hours: 1pm – 5pm Saturday. Other hours by appointment


We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. T. S. Eliot

The exhibition “To Arrive Where We Started” grew out of conversations between Ypsilanti based Amy Sacksteder and New Zealander Fiona Short about common themes in their artistic practices. The title, a quote from T.S. Eliot, can be read as a summing up of their respective global wanderings or as a shared tendency of returning to earlier work to see what more it can reveal with time. Either way it indicates awareness of balancing new experience with reflection and looking again.

Sacksteder’s work is rooted in painting and drawing, but for this show might also include installation. Combining source material from her surroundings, life experiences and historical context, and often incorporating landscape and natural imagery, she constructs documents of time and place that are both beautiful and complexly referenced.

Short’s subtle and enigmatic photographs are grounded in the ordinary and are as much about the process of looking as about what is being looked at. Her images reveal a sense of place and order, engaging the viewer in the way that a quiet voice may command attention. One senses that for Short, each image is a small lesson, a discovery of unexpected delight, and that each photograph is an opportunity to communicate this discovery.


Amy Sacksteder received a BA in English from the University of Dayton in 2001 and an MFA in painting from Northern Illinois University in 2004. She currently lives and works in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she is an Associate Professor of Art at Eastern Michigan University.

Fiona Short completed her MFA at The Glasgow School of Art in 2009 and has since travelled to New Zealand, Iceland and the US to participate in residencies and exhibitions. She currently lives and works in Glasgow, and teaches in the Continuing Education Department at The Glasgow School of Art.

The two artists met at the SÍM Residency Reykjavik in June 2010.

on le projet d’amour


There is not much more edifying and enlightening than having a truly superlative writer examining one’s work. Thank you Hila for this lovely post. It’s an honor to have my work featured alongside that of Philipp Haager.

the studio visit

photo credit: Lauren Rice

Last summer Detroit artist Lauren Rice visited my (old storefront) studio in Ypsi. She wrote a great article about my work  and her experience (which just came out the other day) for The Studio Visit. Thanks Lauren!

new studio

For the past few months we’ve been moving out of our old house and into our new house. This included consolidating both studio spaces into this one new space. These are two images of the studio in its current, lovely state.

Here are some before and progress images. As you can see, the studio was the dumping ground for some time while we put the rest of the house in order.


Thanks to Joe and Mark for all of your hard work! They tore out and replaced bad drywall, Joe painted the whole thing and Mark installed a sink. We also had the skylight put in which makes a huge difference in the amount of light the room gets. It’s a really fantastic place to be making; I already see changes in my work from my new surroundings.

LOST and FOUND: Belief and Doubt in Contemporary Pictures

I’ll have work in this upcoming show, about which I’m really excited. The artists in the show are wonderful, and it marks the opening of a fantastic new residency program in Detroit. Please come out to the opening if you can make it.

From the press release for the exhibition:

LOST and FOUND: Belief and Doubt in Contemporary Pictures marks the public launch of programming for PASSENGER , which will be a residency program and project space in Detroit. This show announces the vision, goals and type of ideas that PASSENGERseeks to support while we work towards establishing a permanent location. Showcasing the best local artists in the context of top emerging practitioners from around the country, LOST andFOUND looks at artists engaging with the concept of pictures in the era after the ‘death and resurrection of painting’ in which images in any traditional capacity have become impossible in a critical context. In light of this impossibility comes the demand for a fresh investigation. LOST and FOUND showcases a generation of artists that are aware of the historical critique of the language of painting/images. This awareness informs their practice and a traversal of the liminal space between belief/doubt structures their conceptual framework.”

The gallery is open Thursday-Sunday 11am – 7pm

Passenger Detroit’s Temporary Project Space >> 1261 Woodward, in The Lofts of Merchants Row, Detroit | April 05-May 06. Opening Reception: April 5, 2012, 5-8pm

new paintings and news

3 new smalls:

untitled: postcard | 6″ x 6″ | oil and silver leaf on panel | 2012

untitled: mica | 6″ x 6″ | oil, mica and volcanic ash on panel | 2011

November281963369182rebmevoN | 6″ x 6″ | oil and silver leaf on panel | 2011

All up on my website.

Also this week I’m off to Reno for a residency at the University of Nevada which includes and solo show and lectures. I’ll post images soon.

then and then

New drawing:

then and then | 30″ x 22″ | gouache, ink, evaporated glacial water, and collage on paper | 2012

also on website



New painting:

84.5″ x 48″
oil on canvas