Tuesday, February 11, 2014

SPALTED boundaries: An Installation by Lise Currie

There is a beauty and ease we covet. We are constantly negotiating trespasses and consequences.

“Spalting” is the coloration of wood which is typically the result of a fungal invasion. This biological interaction creates lines and patterns that are highly sought after, however this often compromises the integrity of the wood.

SPALTED boundaries is an installation at the Window Treat consisting of an artist book and a dense maze of porcelain coated limbs through which the accordion book unfolds. The text of the book consists of a letterpressed poem about negotiation between two entities, or perhaps the dialog could be interpreted as one voice within another.

The imagery of the entire accordion book was created by printing and offsetting, essentially mirroring, one small (5 inch x 6 inch) etching plate—over and over.  The limbs were collected from the pruners at Golden Gate Park who annually remove the growth to preserve the health of the main organism. They were then coated in porcelain, which rendered them completely bone white, and arranged in a maze of hanging white lines.

The overall effect of the installation is to have the book arranged in a drawing of white limbs, which highlight the drawn nature of the accordion book’s imagery. The lines of the white limbs echo how the etching plate was used to make a drawing for the background of the book.

City trees on the street outside of the Treat Street Window had to be recently cut down due to damage from a biological trespasser. As San Francisco and the rest of the world warms up, such interactions are becoming more and more common.

Lise Currie is a printmaker and artist living in San Francisco. She has
always been interested in the process of making and a particular love of drawing, as they always felt integral in terms of processing and learning about the world around her. Having scuba diving parents, she spent much time growing up at remote dive sites in Mexico with homeschooling (on the beach, of course) and had the Sea of Cortez as her own lab of discovery. The experience of feeling like I spent half my childhood in the sea fostered a profound respect and admiration for design, body plans, the balance of nature, and fascination with its dichotomies. She has a particular interest in how we navigate, interpret, and negotiate our interior experiences with the outside and social world. She studied both Sculpture and Biology in school and earned her MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute where she was granted the Printmaking Fellowship Award. The process of printmaking became the perfect umbrella in terms of gathering up all my abilities and concepts about image, text, and forms. I feel so grateful about my work, even though it is agonizingly tough at times, and the opportunity it provides me to interact with people through what I love to do.
See more of Lise's work