February Update - Research

 

Winter is such a great studio-time to reflect, research, and read! One interesting book I’ve been diving into this month is: Where the Wild Things Are Now: Domestication Reconsidered, by Rebecca Cassidy, Molly Mullin. In summary this book is a collection of essays delving into human-animal relationships from the perspective of anthropologists, biologists, and archeologists. Exploring the historical and evolutionary concepts surrounding domestication of animals and our continual kinship with them. This book offers an interesting perspective about the difference between animal selection vs. a co-evolutionary relationship between humans and wild or domesticated animals. 

 

I turned to this book while looking for answers to questions I have about sparrows, reindeer, or other animals sharing the boundaries between human-made and natural habitat. Having made a number of past projects touching on the hand-of-man-upon-the-land themes. When thinking about issues surrounding the environment or natural spaces, I haven’t spent as much time considering the creatures we share our environment with. Although this book was published in 2007, I feel it might be a good gateway into the next contemporary books I have on my plate delving into Anthropocene Ecological Theory. 

Why would an artist who is not a biologist or ecologist be interested in reindeer, you might wonder? ‘Tis the season to apply for artist residencies for the new year, and it is my pleasure to announce I’ve been invited to several cultural centers this year to continue a project in the Swedish skog (forest).

Close to the edge of the Arctic Circle, the first program I will visit this year is Ricklundgården in Sweden. I’m really excited to travel here because the terrain and mountain tree line will be very different than other natural spaces I’ve been working in. The second residency I will visit this year is RUD AIR, another rural artist retreat and work-space. The location of this residency is ideal as the surrounding forest will be an alternative studio, providing a wild space important to my continuing project to build and photograph light installations in the Boreal forest.

In support of this project, this week I finished one application and the next few months I’m currently working to secure a travel grant or Künstlerstipendium financial support. A future creative supported crowd-sourced campaign might follow to raise funds for travel and equipment. Stay tuned and cross your fingers for me!

January Update - Resolutions

Happy New Year!

In preparing to add this Blog, I spent some time to reflecting if I want this platform to be a diary about my creative process or purely a promotional tool. Selfishly I’ve decided it should be equal parts studio announcements and creative musing while enjoying writing about my work. For structure I’ve decided to commit monthly to writing about my studio as an experiment to test the waters to discover how this activity might shape my art practice while publicly highlighting work in progress.

Writing is an essential tool for any visual artist. For me, this sometime comes naturally with the creative flow of making as I leave notes in my studio or on my phone-sketchbook replacing a traditional bored-bond book. Being an artist who works away from the vein poetry or literature, writing for me has often been a challenge while grasping for words to define the message of my work into a cohesive meaning. When I finish putting my artwork into words I feel like it shook me. Similar to working out, the act of writing makes me leaner, meaner, and more focused as an artist.

On this note here is my current studio situation. After taking 4 years of Elternzeit (extended parent leave, not uncommon in Europe) to raise a young child while adjusting to having moved to the other side of the world. I finally settled into another new studio space last July. My current atelier is a shared creative space with three other artists located at Bettackerstraße 10C, 79115 Freiburg im Breisgau.

 

Shortly after unpacking I started an Artist in Residency in Motherhood. ARIM is a low attendance residency for artists who are mothers. For any artist who has taken the time away from work or shifted gears to be a stay-at-home parent, diving back into studio full or part time can seem daunting. I find the residency outline is a great way to shift my focus back to art making while defining short-term accountable goals for my studio practice. While jump starting a number aof projects I felt creatively starved to return to, I’m currently working on several new bodies of work toward exhibition this year.

 

Here is a small preview of recent work, including a project in rural forests in northern Europe where I am experimenting with building ephemeral light installations into the landscape as a way of photographically connecting man-made and natural occurring phenomena. After editing and printing the first round of this work for the Atelier open house last November, I’m currently researching and planning a connected sister series in the future months to come. More news and details to be announced shortly!

   Erin Harper Vernon, Mythos I - Wandering Star, Ursa Minor (working title)

Erin Harper Vernon, Mythos I - Wandering Star, Ursa Minor (working title)

New Blog in the New Year

2016 has been a busy year full of exciting change and new work, so busy that I've had little time to share my studio adventures, but this will change soon! Coming January 2017 check this blog for artist updates, news, and activities!