An Inter-media Collaboration by Kathryn Nobbe and Philip Blackburn, exploring the idea of in-betweenness within the issues of human ecology.
This exhibition is a multilayered, artistic dialogue between visual artist Kathryn Nobbe and sound-artist Philip Blackburn. The two collaborate to explore issues of human ecology under the lens of liminality, the barely perceptible intermediate state, phase, or condition that exists “In-between.”
Nobbe’s new mixed media artworks stylistically inhabit a liminal zone somewhere between representation and abstraction. Conceptually, the work explores metaphorical relationships of the human body as mother earth in transition, simultaneously vulnerable and resilient.
Created specifically for the exhibition, and played through his handcrafted illuminated birch bark speakers installed in the gallery, Blackburn’s soundscape, Skin + Breath, evokes earth/body resonances.
The artists encourage visitors to investigate the entire space, finding the in-between places and making their own interpretations from the multisensory elements that go beyond visual to include sound, spatial relationships, touch, and smell
Kathryn Nobbe Artist Statement
My work has always been grounded in the history and process of drawing and painting. Over the past decades, I have incorporated a variety of media and artistic practices separately and simultaneously: sculpture, photography, digital imaging, video/film projection, sound, movement—in order to best articulate meaning and engage my viewers.
Exchange and dialogue with creatives working in disciplines other than my own has inspired my collaborations with musicians, performers, lighting designers, writers, academics, etc. I have also worked with community groups to produce site-specific public artworks, where the people, environment and history are of primary importance.
I am increasingly presenting my work within an installation-based practice, where artworks and other sensory media positioned in an environment are connected, integral parts of the larger whole. Like singers in a choir, versus autonomous, separate voices, the configuration of the environment itself and what is contained, is the artwork.
My process of re-working/re-drawing/re-sculpting is vital and perpetual, achieved by both hand and pixel, layer upon layer. Distorting, twisting, turning things inside out, reveals their making, essence, and liminal “in-between-ness”. These transitional, intermediate phases of discovery/creativity can often be disorienting and barely perceptible, like the liminal zone between sleep and wakefulness, life and death.
Philip Blackburn Artist Statement
From a tree limb hang several engraved birch bark cylinders – tree skins, sonic lanterns, marked with mysterious symbols. Beneath them, on the floor, are organic shards of their former life, dropped as though from their essential core. Sounds and smells are released. This tree grew and fell apart in a hyperforest – the same dimension we inhabit if only we took the time to notice.
Liminal: Threshold. The threshold is the barrier that defines where the threshed straw that covers the floor in traditional houses is prevented from drifting outside. You can step over this at any time, and know that you are inside or outside.
Skin and breath are mere illusions, not boundaries. In zazen meditation we observe breath, how exterior and interior are connected, and mutable. ‘Skin + Breath’ ponders barriers. A tree with interior life, external bark, and roots that communicate with each other; individuals or community? The silvery sounds and boundaries between senses—sight, smell, sound—have no clear edges; they shift and blur like the Northern Lights, wispy yet solid.
Thursday- Saturday: 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
And by appointment.
Image: KATHRYN NOBBE, Adaptations X, 2021, mixed media (pencil, pastel, watercolor, ink) on paper, 50” x 84
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