Didomenico Studio

HOVAB, 2016

Evolving Visions of Land and Landscape September 29 – January 15, 2017

Participating Artists: Buff Elting, Chuck Forsman, J. Gluckstern, Elmer P. Green,Ana María Hernando, Jerry Kunkel, Merrill Mahaffey, Jane McMahan, John Matlack, Chris Pearce, Chandler Romeo, Joseph Bevier Sturtevant, Melanie Yazzie

Artists have always been seduced by landscape. Across the world, we witness its influence since early mark making. With Boulder attracting so many who identify with the outdoors, it’s not surprising that many artists working here also turn their focus to the land. Evolving Visions of Land and Landscape explores works by twenty-six artists who live or have lived in Boulder from the mid-1800s to the present. Through literal, realistic, abstract, and metaphorical interpretations, they offer different ways of seeing and experiencing the land in media as diverse as their messages. While many set their sights on local environs, some look beyond to other parts of the state or other regions of the globe, and a few to landscapes of the imagination.

Time, place, and culture inspire artistic creation, and for artists who have lived in Boulder, the American West has offered rich source material. The evolving visions in this exhibition range from observational recording to romantic idealization of new frontiers, awe at the magnificence of nature, and concerns for the threat imposed on the landscape in the face of human habitation, industrialization, and dwindling natural resources. Acting as arbiters of taste and architects of change, these artists show us diverse ecological and sociological terrain, considering borders isolated and eradicated, personal and conceptual. In this exhibition we see the landscape as it was, as it is, and as it could be, reverent and cautionary for what it will become if we do not take these visions to heart. 

Curated by Joan Markowitz in collaboration with BMoCA for Celebration! A History of the Visual Arts in Boulder (HOVAB). Sponsored by Anonymous, Sue Schweppe, Fiona Baldwin, Nicky Wolman & David Fulker, Studio B Architecture + Interiors, Daily Camera, HOVAB.This exhibition is presented as part of Celebration! A History of the Visual Arts in Boulder. HOVAB is revisiting and celebrating the city’s lively visual art past, beginning in the late 19th century and continuing all the way to the present. Exhibitions of selected artwork will take place in 18 galleries city-wide and in Longmont (where many former Boulder artists now reside), from September 29, 2016 through January 15, 2017. HOVAB is the brainchild of curator, writer and cultural journalist, Jennifer Heath. It quickly manifested under the creative brilliance of a curatorial steering committee comprising Sally Elliott, Kathy Mackin, Joan Markowitz, and Kevin Kelley.

Rebecca DiDomenico collaborated with Andrew Martin, an evolutionary biologist, who made suggestions as well as fine-tuned ideas. She also took classes with CU professor Kim Malville, who wrote the book, Feather for Daedalus. He was an important influence on her work regarding the marriage of science and art.

“Indeed, the most compelling similarity between science and myth is the drama each derives from living in that twilight zone between fantasy and reality. Physics lives there just as assuredly as do the ancient stories of gods and goddesses and demons, for physics is never unrestrictedly true. It is only temporarily true, and in a broader context it is always false for sometime in the future each of our theories will most likely be disproved by a new discovery. Yet physics has the appearance of truth: human sounds are carried by a wireless, men land on the moon, energy emerges from the atom. Neither science nor mythology has more claim to truth, as each is but a link between the inner world of man’s imagination and the outer world of physical reality. In both there is that delicate blending of the inner vision and the outer world which must be “neither too good or too bad to be true nor too true.” Science which would be too true would not be science, but a catalogue of facts, a listing of the wind speed, the temperature, or the people seen on a particular day. The power of modern science is derived from the metaphorical linkage between facts by themselves.”

Kim Malville from A Feather For Daedalus

“Art, like religion, is one of the ways we digest what is happening to us, make the sense out of it that proceeds to action. Otherwise, the only role left to us- noble, but also enraging in its impotence- is simply to pay witness. The world is never going to be, in human time, more intact than it is at this moment. Therefore it falls to those of us alive now to watch and record its flora, its fauna, its rains, its snows, its ice, its peoples. To document the buzzing, glorious, cruel, mysterious planet we were born onto, before in our carelessness we leave it far less sweet.”
Bill McKibben

(Cydney Payton, former Director, MCA, Denver)
A selected list of her exhibitions, collections and publications includes Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Denver International Airport; San Francisco Craft & Folk Art Museum; Denver Art Museum; Artspace; Art Papers; Artweek; Marin Independent Journal; The Washington Post; Art in America; and The New York Times.

“A life that makes the greatest number of connections to other things and alters itself in the process is a life lived to it’s fullest!
Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari

Whirl Artist Statement

I live at the edge of the Colorado mountains and walk everyday from the lower elevation of my garden to the mountains above me, traversing the contours of the land. I notice my body and soul in relative positions and elevations. I find myself grounded on the earth, soaring in the sky or unexpectedly solid in the sky and ephemeral on the ground. Both worlds connect through my walking and my work. I sew contours on fabric, joining threads, stitch by stitch into a succession of short lines as a complete landscape emerges, an island taken out of context, floating on the wall and suspended in space.

Traditional topography is meant to translate the multidimensional features of the earth’s surface, yet once reduced into a two dimensional format, it fails to capture the all encompassing emotional immensity of the landscape. With Whirl, I invite viewers beyond the traditional version of a limited topographical world into a deeper sensual reality. The world of physical matter meets up with the diaphanous, other-worldly land in a continual state of breath and influx. The topographical lines exist in the form of a whirl, emanating from a central axis; a prescient test or trial of changing proportions.

The glass vessels, or alembics are pinned to the land, delicate specimens on the verge of giving birth to alternate life forms. Alembics are where the alchemists performed experiments, where materials were distilled, coagulated and then transformed into substances beyond the original ingredients. These experiments echo the artistic process, the shape-shifting of the internal into the external. The fragile alembics tenaciously cling to the whirling landscape. The breakneck pace of the world around us is seductive, no doubt. However, nature is transformative in its very existence and therefore at home in chaos.

Here, “the stillpoint of the turning world”, where the whirling chaos and a peaceful state of suspended animation, exist simultaneously.

We are all here as co-creators, moving in a realm beyond the dual nature of empty and populated, simple and complex, dark and light, conscious and unconscious in order to learn to embrace the full bodied present moment.

Rebecca DiDomenico

Topography: represents features of the earth’s surface by means of drawn lines & contours
Indicating their relative positions and elevations, a 2 D representation of a multi dimensional landscape. Sewn lines, to join or attach by stitches, symbolized by the repetitive process of one stitch after the next (go with the Whirl part)
Thread as the symbol of fate/spun, measured & cut, the three fates all have their place in the destiny of the universe

Alembics/vessels /glass: a device that purifies or alters by distillation, two vessels connected by a tube, anything that transforms or purifies, a vessel where substances are decomposed by heat, vehicles embedded in the landscape, specimens or alternate more adaptable forms of life might be created to emerge into a changed world,
knitted metal mesh, pliable screen material, hand-shaped,what comes out of the internal transformation becomes external variety of outcomes

Floating Island, land taken out of context, hovering in space, suspended in empty space, Diaphanous backdrop, amorphous, insubstantial, fine and transparent,
the earth floating in space, heavenly bodies, the world of physical matter to house souls,
land in a state of continually breathing,
formlessness when you possess all things in potential only

Whirl/whirlwind: to rotate rapidly about a center or an axis, to spin, a spinning action, to move while rotating , a brief or experimental try, a prescient test or a trial that causes lasting change, a swift succession or round of events, a state of confusion , all of the current climate change states are happening at an accelerated rate, sending the land, bodies of water, and normal occurrences like current direction, etc. into chaos.

Whirl - BMOCA

Shapeshifters - NCAR