Listening Across Time

While the MFA journey in some ways already feels long ago, it was lovely this fall to get to revisit it at the Regier Art Gallery by exhibiting selections from the different projects that I worked on over the 2+ years. Here is my exhibition statement-

In Listening Across Time, excerpted from work developed during the past two years, I explore letter-writing as an act of relational care, in past, present, and future contexts. Parts of this trilogy are represented here through varied works on paper and other media: photographs, artist books, and letterpress prints connected to letters exchanged between a trio of sisters from the past, considering the objects and emotions that we leave behind; sculptural book pairings and embroidery sparked by a series of present-day handwritten correspondences; and Letters to the Future, epistolary texts that find form here in drawings and audio recordings. In each part of the trilogy, I give thought to how both words and traditions of making are passed between generations, transferred between hands and bodies, in intimate settings. Through these many correspondences across time, I have come to think of letters not only as a way of exchanging thoughts and ideas but also as a form of active listening. Letters are an invitation to listen, an agreement to care for another person. I believe that such listening is directly connected to a slowing down, a taking time to take care, and this quality is what I seek to reflect in all parts of the work, drawing attention to the ways we care for each other with our words.

I was so gratified by the reception of the show. For work that has been so personal and intimate, and is all connected inside of my own head, I wasn’t entirely sure that others would necessarily see the connections as well. But they did, and I was surprised to find that the ideas brought a lot of emotions to the surface for some viewers. I had not anticipated the tears. Clearly, this is a theme that resonates, and it’s one that I won’t be done with for some time to come.

Photographs from What We Leave Behind and letterpress prints from Dear Sister
Taking Care, a participatory installation of letters and thread
Dear friend: a thesis in / of letters
hand-word drawings and audio recordings from Letters to the Future
a selection of artist books related to correspondence and collaboration
(apparently the spotlights function strangely in a panoramic photo)

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