Freshly

Freshly Painted (Photo courtesy of HANG ART).
Freshly Painted (Photo courtesy of HANG ART).

As 2015 came quickly to an end, I sprinted towards the New Year.  HANG ART asked me to create a site-specific acrylic installation and drawing on its gallery walls by the exhibit’s opening of January 2nd.  Artists DAVe Warnke and Pouke Halpern would be onsite showcasing their amazing talents.  Searching the hidden crevices of my brain to finish by the deadline, memory and travel became the theme.

Inspire.
Inspire.

Started to sketch the placement of the installation.  A reoccurring form appeared as a soft oval.  The shape appeared in a gift of arrowheads from a sacred Choctaw site during a residency at a refuge in Mississippi.  The organic form is similar to Southeastern Native American artifacts such as scrapers, knives, tools, and ornaments.  It mimics the prehistoric designs, motifs, and symbols found in that region and in Pomo beaded baskets.

Detail.
Detail.

The vertical line in the Chinese language can be referred to as the shù stroke.  It’s stoic and proud as the backbone of characters and communication.   The shape is similar to a Choctaw flute made of cane or a Navajo blanket design.  The drawing would occupy this territory and record history by sharing a story like a totem pole.

Measure.
Measure.

 

Start.
Start.

 

Line. (Photo courtesy of HANG ART).
Line (Photo courtesy of HANG ART).

First on the agenda was to prep the walls for installation and creation.  Using Measure-It tape, my husband and I meticulously surveyed the walls.  The vertical drawing needed to be straight and tolerant.  No sloppy lopsided attempts allowed.  My gestural lines require precise markers for unified and meditative patterns.

Measure.
Measure.

 

Almost.
Close.

Similar to the drawing, the white wall and its negative space demanded the same respect as the art itself.  Thoughtful placement was my intention and hope.  Started measuring the shape with a printed out template and arrowheads on hand.  Books such as Sun Circles and Human Hands and Bonhans latest Native American Art auction catalogue were open as an inspirational offering.  Once an image emerged, it was time to arraign the pieces with their shadows in mind.  Intention wasn’t accidental.

Symbol:

Done.

Totem:

Totem

Drawing on walls and arranging objects without judgment was just so much fun.  It was similar to seeing the Pacific Ocean, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Yellowstone, or the Tianmu mountains for the first time.  It felt familiar yet sacred.  I left hopeful and excited for the new adventures ahead.

Onwards.

Freshly Painted.  HANG ART. 567 Sutter Street, San Francisco.  January 2-15, 2016.  Opening January 9th 3-5:00 pm.

The links:

www.jennyebalisle.com

http://www.hangart.com/

https://muse.jhu.edu/books/9780817383688

http://www.chinasage.info/langstrokes.htm

http://www.choctawschool.com/home-side-menu/iti-fabvssa/the-choctaw-river-cane-flute.aspx

http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1985/6/85.06.01.x.html

https://nmai.si.edu/exhibitions/all_roads_are_good/PomoBasket.htm

http://www.measureittape.com/

http://www.bonhams.com/departments/ETH/

https://books.google.com/books?id=SJpDL9QBcukC

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