On June 21st at exactly midday the sun strikes the top of a nail in a flagstone in Chartres Cathedral, France.
From a sideways glance I notice a nail on my studio wall struck by the western light. I am inspired to explore the marking of time. I walk up and draw a graphite line from the nail and notice how it seems to pull at the shadow.
Only the things that I notice shape my mind, and, when I notice change I experience time and space. Noticing these phenomena visually and internally is the form of my artistic exploration.
I have been recording the sun’s shadow in relation to pieces of thread, as photographs and as video experiments during the months of January, February and March (from Winter Solstice to Spring Equinox). From this latitude/vantage point, I wait for the sun to draw delicate shadow lines in collaboration with my random placement of thread. Each piece depicts one moment in time, when the sinking winter sun creates long shadows; both thread and sun are the charcoal, ink, and pencil.
Continuing my drawing explorations during the rest of the year, I have created sculptures (wood panel, paint, graphite, nails) that loosely reference early sundials. The gnomon, or pointer, is usually set at the angle of one’s geographic latitude to determine a correct reading. I have used everyday nails as gnomons, and have set them at the angle of the latitude in my studio in Beacon, New York. But instead of one pointer facing true north, I have set multiple pointers in different directions in one body of work, or, in more recent work, I have created gps graphite drawings from visiting exhibits (particularly Agnes Martin, Sol LeWitt, Fred Sandback, and On Kawara) at DIA Beacon, the nails marking the beginning and ending of each walk.
I have also created a kind of sundial with thread and graphite on wood panel. The straight graphite lines contrast with loose linear thread lines. Hard and/or soft shadow lines create a constant energy and reminder of incremental changes in our visual landscape based on sunlight.
In the deep blue Untethered Drawings I am curious about the absence of shadow, or internal time. From Proust: “When man is asleep, he has in a circle around him the chain of the hours, the sequence of the years, the order of the heavenly bodies. Instinctively he consults them when he awakes and in a instant reads off his own position on the earth’s surface and the time that has elapsed during his slumbers.” This work is about the floating time, in the middle of the night, when one wakes up and instinctively guesses actual time.
The materials I choose, thread and nails, are ordinary objects that hold things together. Used here out of context, some initial references remain: the delicacy of thread, the force of a nail. In collaboration with the sun, a nail, continuing in space from a line, creates an implied motion: the shadow completes it. The thread, seemingly inert on a white piece of paper or a wood panel, becomes a kind of guitar string in motion with vibrating, energetic shadow lines.
In most my recent work I have explored the temporal nature of sea waves. One wave crashes over a piece of paper marked with blue gouache. I record the time of the wave on that piece. On multiple beaches I map my experience of the force of the water and its location. While each wave marks its particular existence through its contact with the materials, the series as a whole conveys the eternal breath of the tide.