Union Gallery

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Absent Bodies
Dayna Riemland, Jesse Wardell, Linsey Wilson

February 5 - March 13, 2015
Reception: Saturday, March 7, 6-8pm

 

Dayna Riemland, Annie (detail), mixed media, 2014

The exhibition Absent Bodies addresses shifting perceptions of bodies and identities. The suggestion of presence but the absence of identity is rendered throughout each artistís work through the use of materials that are evocative of protection, familiarity and family. The use of textiles, embroidery, crochet and knitting in Lindsey Wilson and Dayna Riemlandís works are used to evoke a sense of protection and discomfort in relation to this perception; Jesse Wardell similarly seeks to create unsettled, undefined forms in her waterless lithographs and sculptural works. Together these works explore the various ways that perceptions can shift and be disrupted in relation to bodies and identities.

Lindsey Wilson, Ablations I , handspun and purchased yarn, 2014

Home is the central thread around which Dayna Riemland negotiates and explores experiences within her cultural heritage as a Russian Mennonite. Interested in contextualizing her familyís history, she alters and manipulates personal photographsand documents to incorporate her interest in textile production, mainly embroidery.The embroidery and sewing skills she was taught as a child are used to adorn family photographs and documents that highlight a history of uncertainty and migration, connecting her familyís story to the wider experiences of Russian Mennonites during WWII and the subsequent treatment during a period of unrest and displacement.

Wardell creates a series of works that use of both sculpture and print to explore aspects of her personal history that are unclear: her place within the family and its history, her physical and psychological identity, and that desperate need to find something solid to grasp onto, something that can be seen as entirely her own.She uses materials and methods of creation in which the physical presence is made visible to the viewer. Her body casts create objects that, while emulating an idea of perfection,are shown as ultimately imperfect and anonymous in their lack of identity. This removal of identity is further explored in her prints in which faces are altered through the use of toner washes, and fragmented objects that lead to the suggestion of human presence, like a knot, a piece of twisted wire, or a chair on the wall.

 

                                      Jesse Wardell, Family Ties, mixed media, 2013

Wilsonís work explores the contentious and dynamic relationship between social construction and biological determination in the production of bodies and identities. Considering the ways in which social institutions and repetitive acts are implicated in the constitution of bodily surfaces, she creates objects that suggest both internal bodily structures and their boundaries.Her use of materials draws on feminist uses of textiles as a subversive artistic material practice. Making use of the repetitive nature of crocheting as a process, Wilson aims to convey the notion of cloth and skin as protective, yet permeable and malleable membranes that function as unstable boundaries. In combining the softness of textiles with the surface qualities ofthe intuitively constructed clay objects, the artistís work depicts the simultaneous fragility and strength of bodily tissue. The accompanying prints document various materials, which have been used to produce the sculptural works. These prints represent the products of the documentation of materials and the isolation of disparate parts, paralleling notions observation, and the medical gaze.