After the busy and productive time at SGCI in Portland, I took a long 17 hour train ride down the Oregon coast to Berkeley, California. It is here that the long established KALA Art Institute welcomes artists in residence from all over the world. As a studio dedicated to printmaking, I arrived at the start of April excited to work within the facilities that promised to be a 2 month period of printmaking exploration. During this residency I am collaborating with French Canadian Artist Guillaume Brisson-Darveau on a new body of work.
Together, our proposal to KALA looked like this…
The project we propose is a continuation from the work we have undertaken in our respective practices. It addresses the questions we pose related to memory, dialogue and the meaning of artistic practice.
As though a sociologist or linguist might gather observations of the city by collecting data, we will begin to collect words, phrases, colloquialisms. We intend to navigate Berkeley through the sentences we hear, the words we find; elements likely to resonate with our mutual sensitivities will be archived and preserved in notebooks and on recording devices. We are interested in words relating to political, social, personal and everyday events.
From these words or sentences, we will we create a body of prints using our independent skills in silkscreen, woodcut, letterpress, mono print and photocopy and display them throughout the city as a tapestry, as posters, as a bridge to connect experience and memory to place. We will also create a book version of our project, which could possibly combine, the words or sentences with photographs of their manifestations in the city. We are interested in whether, by the re-appropriation of snippets of text gleaned from the city, a new reading can be generated.
We believe that in the process of printmaking, cross-cultural dialogues can occur. In creating a space for making, boundaries are blurred and connections fostered. The sharing of stories, conversation, language and memory through both oral traditions and making traditions can be a tool for communication and connectivity. Through being immersed in the local community of the Kala Institute, we are interested in exploring ways that narrative is created, connections are made, and memory is maintained by creating a space in the city for dialogue to occur. We anticipate finding inspiration at Kala along with the space needed to disseminate these ideas in the print workshop.
We see this project as a dialogue between us, as individuals, as artists, between our practices, and with the city as a whole.