Ephemera, Mixed Media, and Collage: A Small Works 2019 Artist Preview
Small Works makes its second appearance next week July 19-21 at The Midway SF. A "tabletop" style art fair in a large creative complex, Small Works exhibits select contemporary artists showing small-scale works in all mediums.
While Small Works has no theme, jurors Director Ray Beldner and Content Curator Mica England noted a trend in artists using mixed media and collage. Mica was especially taken with the multimedia collages of K’era Morgan.
Guided by intuition, each of K’era’s collages are a non-linear story made of fragments sourced from cast-off materials. Her collaged paintings are colorful and expressive, featuring gestural strokes, mark-making, photographs, and various found papers representing ephemeral thoughts, visions, and experiences.
“We tell ourselves stories constantly, yet unconsciously,” K’era says. “They are reflected in how we live our lives. We constantly pull feedback from the world around us to either validate or inform existing stories or to create new story lines. My work is a reflection of this unconscious process.”
Following suit, five of our other stARTup Small Works exhibiting artists shared their work and the unconscious processes that drive them to create.
Using a combination of found fragments and personal elements, Linden Eller composes floating abstract shapes sewn together with thread on paper. Her work centers around themes of memory and architecture, its process, and “the layers of small alterations which happen each time a recollection occurs.”
With her pale color palette against tracing paper, her pieces attempt to replicate the quiet hazy environment from which a memory is recalled. Blending autobiographical narratives with larger collective subjects such as childhood, longing, and place, Linden thinks of her collages as “layered field recordings that represent multiple interpretations and perspectives of the same story.”
Larraine Seiden’s work comes “comes directly out of the chaos of contemporary urban life, in the found spaces between juggling children, teaching jobs, housework, and an iPhone. My art practice is a meditation and seeks glimpses of grace against the intense chatter of this moment.”
At Small Works Larraine will showcase her Cumulus series. Collaged thought vessels gather and swell just above the earth’s surface. Using pieced paper ephemera collected from her life, Larraine maps her inner thoughts and explores the emotionally-charged nature of time and memory by building up layers of color encaustic.
Her strips undulate and echo shifting perspectives. Of her practice, Larraine says, “Stepping back from daily dramas to take a wider view, I will something beautiful to surface on the horizon — like a murmuration of birds.”
Materials inspire Miles Epstein. “Specifically, simple materials I glean from our waste stream. Materials which share similar qualities — generally discarded, regularly available, and easy to manipulate with basic tools.” He continues, “Paper is my primary medium, but I also use wine corks, repurposed wood, choice scrap metals, and other gleaned materials.”
Working from his studio, his works are exceptionally flat, lending themselves to his detailed tissue and fine paper compositions. Mile’s portraits are provocative yet anonymous, hinting at a storyline which the viewer is invited to complete.
Susan Kurland’s art practice is inspired and influenced by her mother and grandmother’s needlework. She explores the boundaries of the textures by knitting, crocheting and sewing using thread, and leftover fabric from previous projects. “Part of my process is the repetitive nature of the movement used to create the given textile or object. It can be seen as meditative or tedious.”
Objects, whether handed down from generation to generation or found, are altered and transformed to represent a movement or feeling. “Through the iterations of my work, layered with various materials, represent a dichotomy, old versus new, strong versus fragile. I create drawing from my experiences and observations.”
Dennis Parlante uses vintage papers, documents, postal envelopes, tags, ephemera of all kinds in his collages, combined with abstract marks, shapes, and lines of acrylic paint.
On his process Dennis says, “In using these materials I try to go beyond the nostalgia of the papers without sacrificing their unique power. I find the shapes, marks, and lines of these ephemera to be spontaneous and creative monuments for lives past. By combining these found papers with my own painted and drawn markings, I try to link properties of old and new, spontaneous and deliberate, into works that are both cohesive and lyrical.”
Inspired? Join us at The Midway for our Happy Hour Preview, Friday, July 19, 6–9pm for music, performances, installations, food and drink. Additional hours are Saturday, July 20: 11am–6pm and Sunday, July 21: 11am–5pm.
Feature by Content Curator Mica England