Posts Tagged ‘Reykjavik’

October SÍM Residency in Reykjavík


IMG_7426 IMG_7438









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.

Island: 22 Artists on Iceland

This last week, 12 artists (of the 22 in the show) descended on the Ypsi/Detroit area to install work, conduct crits and attend the openings and lecture surrounding this exhibition, curated by myself and EMU’s Gallery Director Greg Tom.

Island has been a year in the making and the week involved group dinners, lazy European breakfasts, tours of galleries, museums and other sites in Ypsi, Ann Arbor and Detroit. It was a wonderful reunion for those artists who were all at SÍM together last June and a great opportunity to meet new people for everyone else.  Thanks to all who were involved and attended!

If you’re in the area, the shows will be up through December 12. Check EMU’s Art Department website for hours and contact someone at ‘CAVE for an appointment to view that exhibition.

3 more makes 30

Last Map: Mirror, Last Map: Beacon, Last Map: Crosslit, each gouache and ink on paper, 11.5″ x 8.25″, 2010

I completed 3 more Last Map drawings in Iceland to total 30, which has been my goal for some time now.  These latest drawings reflect my icy surroundings at the time I made them.  Hopefully I can exhibit all 30 together in the near future.

Although I prefer to display them all simply taped to the wall, the wear and tear isn’t good for the drawings, so I need to get them framed.  I have some ideas for framing them that should provide for some interesting installation opportunities.

In other news:

-I am pleased to have been mentioned in the 12.17.10 Chicago Tribune article about the best Chicago area art of 2010.  Apparently there is an image of Bring in the Light in the print version, though I haven’t yet seen it myself.

-Also, Nicole Pietrantoni (who I met and collaborated with in Iceland) and I plan to be working together again soon under the name Island Projects.  We hope to have a website up and running in the near future.

-Some of Amelia Earhart’s bones may have been found on Nikumaroro Island in the Pacific Ocean.  Here’s the full article.

ice above, fire below

Ice Above, Fire Below | color transparencies, thread, cyanotypes and lithographs | dimensions variable  (this installation approximately 96″ wide) | 2010, in collaboration with Nicole Pietrantoni, SÍM House, Reykjavík, Iceland.

Friday night was the opening of the residents’ exhibition, dubbed  The Supreme Council of Higher Beings.  There was some great work in the show and Mark was involved in an exciting collaboration/interactive music and sound-based performance with our friends Jan and Beer.  It turned the opening into a party.  A lot of people showed up and the residents received great feedback about all of the work, including an interactive Venn diagram connecting artists and related people in Iceland by Rebecca Key.

One of the best outcomes of this November residency has been meeting and and beginning  a collaborative partnership with American artist Nicole Pietrantoni.  She is in Iceland for a year on a Fulbright fellowship and a Leifur Eiriksson Foundation grant. This installation was our first collaborative endeavor.

Skaftafell and the rest of it

As Jökulsárlón was our furthest destination, on the way back to our cabin (pictured below) we stopped for a hike in Skaftafell National Park, where the highlights were Svartifoss and a walk out to Skaftafellsjökull (Skafatfell Glacier).

Cabin at Horgsland :

Friday night was extremely clear, and around 11-midnight, we saw the northern lights.  My camera couldn’t do it justice, but our friend Beer got some great images, a couple of which I’m including here.

Sunday we headed back to Reykjavík and I snapped some images of the vastly varying weather conditions and landscape, as well as at the Skógar Folk Museum, a stop on our trip home.

It was a breathtaking weekend adventure, from which I gleaned much artmaking fodder.

update and out

I added recent projects from the last year to my website today (finally), from Budapest, Reykjavík, Philadelphia, Chicago and Ann Arbor.  I moved things around to hopefully make the site more easily navigable.

Also, we’re leaving for a little trip this weekend that promises waterfalls, a steamy river, trolls fronting as rock formations, an iceberg lagoon and much more.  I hope the weather cooperates…


When I arrived in Iceland, it was my plan to make some gouache paintings of small, contained worlds, like the glassy images in these two pieces: Last Map: Osolith and Last Map: Divisadero on white or blue paper.  However, on my first day in my studio, I found a collage of images from the Icelandic landscape left by a previous resident.  As it depicts a self-contained world, I decided to copy it in gouache, as a sort of collaboration with this unknown artist.  These are just studio snapshots.  I will add more professionally documented images of the piece to my website when I get home.


Mark and I are all set-up at the residency in Iceland.  We’re getting time to make work, get out and about in Reykjavík, read, do yoga, and rest.  We have a great set-up this time, with our own little apartment inside the larger shared residency apartment. Here are some images from my studio:

And there’s the same amazing view, this time with snow and with different light:

It makes a big difference to have a good camera this time.  I was able to get decent shots out the windows with my point-and-shoot in June, but now I have a better digital camera with a much more accurate zoom lens.  Behold:

planes, trains and automobiles

Thursday, I’m hopping aboard the Wolverine from Ann Arbor to Chicago to see and stay with some good friends. Friday,  I’m giving a lecture on my work (details below) at Northeastern Illinois University.  It’s also the last day the show will be up, so come out if you can!

That afternoon, I board a plane to Toronto to meet Mark and Chris and Mary for Halloween weekend, Canada style.

Then Mark and I get on another couple of planes to head to Iceland again for the month of November.  It will be a whirlwind, but needless to say, we’re a little excited.  I’ll work on some ideas I have had bouncing around in my head and Mark will get his own studio to work on some music projects.  Speaking of which, he has a new album out.  Everything about it is AMAZING.  Here is a link to his new website. Have a look and listen.

Talk details:

Friday, October 29

11 a.m.

Northeastern Illinois University, Fine Arts Center, FA 252

Directions to the talk.

Also, here is a Chicago Tribune review of the show.

Bon voyage!


I recently found out that I get to go back to Iceland again for another residency in November.  I’m certainly going to make the most of the opportunity once again.  This time we’ll get to see what night time is like there, the stars, and hopefully the northern lights.  I already have project ideas up my sleeve.   I am so excited to go back!