Whittemore-KMSP_102517_9am-There is a Ladder.mp4
Presented at The Anderson Center, Red Wing, MN There Is A Ladder: Reaching for the Unknown/ an exhibition of the early stages of original creative work
“DOWNLOADING FROM THE UNIVERSE”
I am a painter who often prefers my palette ~ the surface on which I mix paint color ~ to my representational paintings ~ you will see a few of my actual palettes are displayed in the outer hallway, with my other works. My palettes contain a sense of freedom and immediacy, making them more alive to me.
Here is a brief story about how my paying attention to my preference for my palettes led me into a surprising new practice.
In 2014 I began to explore the instability and fluid logic of the materiality of paint, as I was simultaneously trying to paint the massively gorgeous landscape of Northern California, where I was then. I printed my color explorations on dye-infused aluminum, so they could be placed IN the landscape, as indestructible as Coke cans. I convinced a metal shop to bend them, so they could be freestanding ~ and be able to be installed IN a garden or landscape. On exhibit here, with my palettes, are two giant digital print scrolls, and their offspring ~ two free-standing, undulating aluminum sculptures ~ “Lulu” & “ Mermaid’s Book”.
Along with preferring my palettes, I have to admit that I adore my notebooks, as much or more than the art work they support. The more scrawled-upon and splattered they are, the better I like them. Admitting this, I now can also allow that I prefer being in the realm of possibility ~ before things congeal into reality~ that zone of spaciousness and potential where I can tune in to the frequency of infinite possibility ~ to download from the universe. It is a risky, uncertain, suspended place, without guarantees, full of doubts and disasters and indefensible experiments ~ all of which I prefer to the methodical, the safe, the known.
I wondered what it might be like to have an exhibit of sketchbooks, and works that exhibit that realm of investigation, to show creativity germinating, to present projects closer to the chaotic end of the spectrum, than the coherent end. It dawned on me that The Anderson Center is itself a REAL result of experimenting in the sketchy zone of possibility. Included is an experimental machine and notes of Dr. Alexander Pierce Anderson, The Anderson Center’s ancestral founder and muse, whose scientific experiments led to the invention of puffed wheat and rice. I wrote a proposal to the Executive Director, Chris Burawa, and you see it here now ~ dreamed into reality. I am still amazed that the creators whose work I admire for how alive it is, were willing, and brave enough to allow us to showcase their naked ideas.
“There Is A Ladder” : Reaching for the Unknown
An Exhibition of the Early Stages of Original Creative Works
“There is A Ladder” : Reaching for the Unknown October 6 though December 15, 2017
The Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, RED WING, MN
Delving into the unknown is an aspect of original creative work in a wide array of disciplines, including the sciences. To dispel the prevalent impression that inventions and art arise fully formed, this exhibition reveals and honors the creative scribbles, and leaps of faith of 17 local and international, award-winning luminaries.
I collected this unusual array of sketchbooks, manuscripts, palettes, and artifacts of original important creative projects and inventions in their formative stages, to demonstrate VISION.
The exhibition spans ten disciplines ~ visual art, architecture, archeology, drama, musical composition, poetry, prose, psychotherapy, science, and sculpture, demonstrating the fragility of creative trajectories, and the will and wrong turns required to bring vision to fruition.
I wanted to show work in varying stages of completion, to trace ideas from their first appearance to their eventual expression, following what the Anderson Center’s Executive Director Chris Burawa calls the “unconscious thread”. Burawa chose the title for this exhibit, “There Is A Ladder” from a line in the famous 1973 Adrienne Rich poem, “Diving Into The Wreck” …. in which ‘diving’ deepens into revelation.
EXHIBITORS / VISIONARIES
1. Quilomene Bar ARCHEOLOGIST
2. Robert Hedin POET
3. AP Anderson SCIENTIST
4. Louise Erdrich WRITER
5. Rosemary Moore PLAYWRIGHT
6. Scott King POET & NATURALIST
7. Wayne Horvitz MUSICIAN/ COMPOSER
8. Fred Hagstrom VISUAL ARTIST / BOOK ARTIST / PRINTMAKER
9. Gaylord Schanilec VISUAL ARTIST / BOOK ARTIST / PRINTMAKER
10. Vesna Kittelson VISUAL ARTIST / SCULPTOR / CURATOR
11. Suzette Clough VISUAL ARTIST / PSYCHOTHERAPIST
12. Diane Katsiaficas VISUAL ARTIST
13. Mary Griep VISUAL ARTIST
14. Kevin Kling PLAYWRIGHT
15. Molly Reichert ARCHITECT
16. Cate Whittemore /curator VISUAL ARTIST
17. Phil Docken FILM MAKER