Perception, Memory and Landscape - Water, Rock and Time
I am a recipient of an artist residency at Zion National Park, Utah. This residency is competitive, judged by portfolio and statement of intention. There were 70 applicants and only three residents awarded, each scheduled to stay in Zion at different times. The Artist-in-Residence Program at Zion Park offers artists the opportunity to pursue their creative work while being surrounded by inspiring landscape. Artists are given four weeks, rent-free the use of a furnished park house/studio in the main canyon area. Artists are required to give two, one-hour public lectures and offer the park one of their resulting artworks for their collection, as well as provide visual documentation of the body of work created. Artists must be self-sufficient and provide all of their own necessary supplies. I am applying for this grant to support my creative activity during my residency at Zion, which will take place during my spring 2011 sabbatical. I am requesting support for air transportation, car rental, hotel cost and supplies necessary to conduct and complete my creative work.
During the residency I will work on my ink paintings, which are always derived directly from the visceral experience felt while at specific places - landscape painting. The work is an attempt to resurrect, decipher, and represent the conditions of place. My artwork is an effort to give visual expression to the complexities of the constant state of impermanence in which we live.
Creating an emotional and physical relationship to a specific place enables me to challenge my creativity by reaching beyond the immediate. Spending time, isolated and immersed in an environment allows me to both contemplate and reflect, bringing about the focus needed to develop a project from concept to final imagery. The obvious benefit of participating in a residency is the concentrated amount of time that an individual can spend developing their artistic vision.
As an artist in resident at Zion Park I will create artwork directly inspired by the park's landscape and geography. For me, as an artist, one form of success is when the artwork is defined by the viewer rather than exclusively determined by the creator. If the artist can make the essence of an experience visible to an audience, then that experience is shared rather than private, much like our parks are shared.
The creative work of an artist, made public, can give explanation to our emotions, becoming a way for reaching beyond cultural boundaries and facilitating a collective identity in the shared human experience. Art is a sensuous object, which often gives expression to the interior of our emotions, privately and/or collectively. My aim in creating artwork while in Zion Park is to focus on the complexities of the geological formations and our responses to the landscape - both physical and emotional. My aim is that the artwork created during my residency when publicly viewed, creates interest in our geological and/or cultural history and a concern for our many environmental needs.
Dondero, Mary (2010). Perception, Memory and Landscape - Water, Rock and Time. CARS Small Grants. Item 14.