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2017 to 2018 | Shedding Light

Posted on: Thursday, December 21, 2017

Traces of an Imaginary Walk | Abigail Doan (2017)

Today, on the Winter Solstice, there is a transition both celestially as well as practically, regarding our outlook and vision for the days to come. In this spirit, I am sharing several highlights from the past year as I look ahead to an even more resolved understanding of the placement (role) of objects and materials in my creative practice.

This past year found me experimenting with new materials: clay, print, scent (essences), as well as revisiting fiber as more of a connective tool rather than a sculptural endpoint.

I was also fortunate to collaborate with creatives like Beau Rhee of Atelier de Geste, Brece Honeycutt of On a Colonial Farm, Elizabeth Hohimer of APYNB, Elizabeth Brunner of Piece x Piece, Janis Stemmerman of Russell Janisand Katrina Rodabaugh (during her residency at Instar Lodgeas well as examining my studio process more closely with a Succurro fellowship, An Artist Residency in Motherhood, and a Spring 2017 community gathering for environmental activism and movement practice at MoMA PS1.


studio worktable with Walking Libraries finds + PIONEER scent sample

It was a challenging year for me (for so many of us) due to the current climate and stark realization that life as we know it, or hope to continue to preserve it, is now forever shifting and at times, simply slipping away. As the mother of ten year old boys, I also felt that it was important (a personal responsibility) to devote my time to helping my own children navigate contemporary events while also adjusting my own views in order to be better informed and present.

Spacelandings (atmospheric) research with artist, Elizabeth Hohimer

Many of the old techniques just do not apply any more, and I suspect that this will continue to be the case as the new year unfolds. One's art practice needs to be much broader now, and perhaps this past year was one where I finally allowed interests that I had buried (often out of necessity, but also out of weakness), resurface. I also confronted the very real fact that art was never something that I sought out as a career per se, but sort of adopted out of a need or concern for how to somehow fit things together. There is now a new focus, but also a letting go of what seemed essential, as it really no longer applies.

Walking Libraries 2017 | NYC | photo: Abigail Doan

In this spirit, I look forward to shedding light on those threads of investigation that I began long ago – as an avid biology student, an art student, and a farm girl who grew up listening to dialogues about agricultural, environmental, and weather concerns each season. Nothing has changed really, but then again, everything has. With this in mind, I am grateful for the community that I have surrounded myself with, as this has made all the difference, and I suspect will continue to, as an act of fine tuning during the hoped for lighter days to come.

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