January 16-19, 2014 Photo L.A.
ART from the ashes
This image was captured at the site of the Cisco Home warehouse fire in East Los Angeles. The intensity of the blaze transfigured a 10K square foot corrugated metal warehouse into collapsed structure of twisted metal. The transformation of the structure inspired the vision for ART from the ashes.
This image is of the iconic Deukmejian Wilderness Park oak tree that miraculously survived the Station Fire.
Standing in the midst of what used to be the library at the Gane house was profound and fascinating. Examining the seemingly random way some books still had the fabric covering, standing at attention; the ability to read charred pages with ink still legible; piles of ash next to nearly pristine pages and in this image, a card catalog ~ laying in chaos no longer able to perform the job for which it was intended. Shooting the Gane house at Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens for AFTA was truly a transformative experience ~ both professionally and personally. Little did I know that giving of my time and shutter clicks would yield me gifts that I continue to be amazed and thankful for.
Inspired by the temporary abstract patterns created in ice, Frozen is a exploration of everyday items trapped in solid water then photographed. Originally created for the non profit, ART from the ashes to help raise money for the rebuilding of LA County wilderness areas damaged by the Station Fire. Frozen has exhibited three times for the ART from the ashes organization and recently featured as regular set pieces on the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds.
“He Gutted His Own Home”
I began with the mold spore as the inspiration for this piece. After a flood, mold grows in patterns across the interior walls of homes causing damage and illness. Having worked cleaning mold off of homes affected by Hurricane Sandy for almost a year after the storm, I was inspired to portray this microscopic home invasion by taking hi-res photos of it and creating a wall paper pattern. I sent it off to be made into wallpaper, and then pasted it onto drawing panels that I then sometimes gut or demolish. I create installations using drawing panels and housing materials discarded to the curb in Rockaway. I am interested in the aesthetics of simultaneously evoking a destroyed art piece and a tableau of a gutted, flood-damaged home.
I feel a great kinship with the mission of Art From The Ashes and find it incredibly important to see disaster sites as sacred places– the objects within them often considered damaged and discarded are in actuality artifacts. Within them is the history of the event, and by salvaging and utilizing these artifacts as media in artwork, there is a possibility of catharsis, remembrance, and possibly, a path towards just rebuilding, advocacy, and policy change.
This work started as an acrylic painting and was collaged with prints of photographs taken in Bastrop, TX The mixed media started out as an acrylic painting of a figure. As the work progressed, the figure became almost imperceptible from the chaos happening in the background. A after the Lost Pines Region wildfire, artist made paper & charcoal.metamorphosis occurred transforming the figure and its environment. The idea was to visually depict the irrevocable change created by the fire; its effect on the land as well as on the people. “In every instant there is a dying and coming back around.” ~ Rumi
Using the digital camera as a tool to record the imagery, this work has helped me develop a visual language that combines photography and my background in textile design. Each one of a kind piece is composed of images of architectural details reduced to shape and pattern and printed in repeat. My recent work is sewn to wire forms that reinforce the imagery and give it more dimensions.
Much credit for my interest in working sculpturally comes from my involvement with ART from the ashes. Hand-stitching my imagery to objects repurposed from the fire at the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens opened up a whole new way of working with my materials. “Overgrown” and a series I did working with springs from an oldmattress all from my connection with ART from the ashes created pathways of inspiration for my present work withsculpture today.
Surin Maryn Vesoett
A collaboration of nightmares, perceptions and visual aesthetics shared between Marin Kathryn Vesely & Suzanne Marie Koett.
The objects reclaimed from Deukmejian Wilderness Park after the Station Fire were taken into a darkroom, arranged on a piece of glass on top of photographic paper and exposed to light using a hand-held light gun. The print is selectively re-exposed while developing to solarizeareas of the print.
Making art from the rubble of Deukmejian Wilderness Park (Station Fire) was a special opportunity for me to try to help restore the natural beauty of the park. Nature, as found in Deukmejian reminds us how we are just a small piece of the giant cosmos, somethingthat Hubble also helps us to understand.
January 16-19, 2014 Photo L.A.
AFTA is proud to be a part of the 23rd Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition. Our exhibit will feature works by a selection of AFTA artists who integrate photography into their work. Each work was inspired by one of the recovery efforts we have been involved with over the past 6 years. Special thanks to Photo L.A. for inviting us to exhibit.