A Journey In Place is a group exhibition featuring work by Simonette Quamina, Viviane Rombaldi Seppey and Kathleen Vance. These three artists contemplate their relationship with place through their work.
Demonstrating a deep understanding of her medium and process, Simonette Quamina combines innovative printmaking techniques and uses a variety of forms of graphite (powder, putty, solid stick) in her works. She collages together graphite prints of personalized symbols of history and memory inspired by her childhood experiences living in the Caribbean. Graphite can simultaneously reflect and absorb light which can shift our perception of the drawing or print. Similarly memories can be slippery illusions. Her imagery vacillates between still lifes and narrative illustrations; childhood and adulthood; memory and time. Carefully choosing and composing her imagery, she includes a childhood toy, local produce and architectural elements. A beaded curtain, seen in one of her collages, is designed to function as a passageway and a barrier. It is perhaps a perfect metaphor for the elusive stories behind her work.
Viviane Rombaldi Seppey integrates maps into her mixed media pieces to convey her personal and family history of migration. In each of the selected works she considers her relationship with cities and countries—placing herself in the context of the world. With both parents coming from immigrant families, her work draws connections between her heritage and her experience of migration during her adult life. In one of the works, Seppey meticulously sliced maps into thin strips that mimic fibers. She used these strips to construct an object that resembles a doormat. Assembling the pieces depicting waterways from many maps create a speckled monochromatic blue background. Combining the brown, tan and green colors from the landmasses found on maps, she spells out the word “HOME.” By incorporating multiple maps into this one work, she suggests that home may not be one place, home can be many places. The idea of home can be fluid.
Environmental artist, Kathleen Vance’s Traveling Landscapes series consists of tightly packed groupings of reclaimed vintage luggage. Several cases are displayed with lids fixed slightly open to reveal illuminated miniature models of lush landscapes with waterways running through them. The act of peering in on delicate ecosystems is unexpected and feels like an enchanted secret perhaps referencing the intimate connection that can form between people and land. She seems to capture the childhood wonder of exploration and the memories associated with it. The worn luggage suggests another place in time. Incorporating her own suitcase and her grandfather’s suitcase, this gallery installation points to personal connections and emotional bonds with the earth. These contained landscapes bring into question personal land ownership, water rights, stewardship, preservation, proprietorship and desire to hold on to and preserve the beauty of untouched environments and natural resources.