Studios > 2008 Residents
"I am interested in the idea of knowledge and in particular how relative it can be to the time and circumstances in which it was generated. I am fascinated in the conflation of objective and subjective information as a way of developing systems for understanding archetypes, a way to develop systems to identify what ‘normal’ in any given set of circumstances. My recent practice has been concerned with the interaction of science and art. Trained as a painter and printmaker, I now focus primarily on paper based practice. I create large format installations using many media - acrylic, oil, watercolor, enamel, glass, felt and fabric. I am interested particularly in the ephemeral nature of my work. It is pinned or nailed to the wall, and can be reconstituted in many different ways.
Using a quasi-scientific approach, I would like to work on a project to investigate the hidden, elusive and frequently culturally derived meanings for people, places and things. I suspect that my project will not aim to result in concrete conclusions, but rather to confirm the impossibility of ever really knowing anything. In particular I am interested in investigating the phenomenon of natural history. The study of the natural world was an obsession for both scientists and lay people in the 1800s. After the release of Darwin’s Origin of the Species in 1859, arguments raged either way that the process of evolution was evidenced in natural specimens. At the time, natural history represented a way of colonizing foreign lands. This occurred though rigorous and ‘scientific’ documentation (with the implication of objective, rational, impartial mannerisms) of specimens that were specific to certain places. The burgeoning scientific world and specifically studies of physiognomy, neuroscience, biology, created domains for the classification of people by new means, their physical existence became a way to view their inevitable temperament. Through these means a person could be characterized as a weak character through their physique, morally lacking through the shape of their nose, or prone to monthly insanity through their possession of a uterus."
Anonda will use her time as an Aferro resident to create a large wall based installation that evokes a sense of chaos rather than order, utilizing essential discourses particular to visual and written natural history propaganda to demonstrate the utter confusion rather than clarity that results from conflicting scientific and social discourses.
"Stories are written, and in my case, cut. I invent cities, worlds and situations. They are memories, associations of words, ideas, observations and thoughts that unfold in improbable juxtapositions. Each observer makes his or her own story in this accumulation of real or imaginary lives to remember the past and foresee the future. Whether automatic writing or premeditated scenes, images pass through words. The creative inspiration comes from a text, a poem, or from a concept that I reduce to a mere title, or an amalgam of deformed words. Part of the pleasure is finding words that are identical in French and in English: word play, translation add complexity and meaning.
In my graphic style, windows are used not to see out but in. The cutting blade traces labyrinths and poetic meandering. Shadows suggest danger but also opportunities for new adventures."Beatrice is currently completing two new works, 30 feet long, based on the fiction of Italo Calvino.
Rodney will work to create arts performances and arts education programs for the community, such as staged readings of new and published works by local and national playwrights, and educational workshops in theatre that will utilize Gallery Aferro's visual arts programming. In collaboration with Playwrights Theatre of NJ, he will enable local actors to present the life stories of senior citizens from Newark. In partnership with Passage Theatre of Trenton, adolescent actors will do a staged reading of an anti-gang piece.
His innovative approach creates spaces that are truly welcoming public forums, as well as more private environments for experimentation and sharing.
Norene's work combines video, sculpture and installation.
Aphrodite Project: Platforms is an interactive artwork that combines the rich mythology of Aphrodite, the priestesses/prostitutes of ancient Greece, with the advertising and safety concerns of contemporary sex workers in the streets, providing technological access to people for whom it would not normally be available. The prototype sandals utilize the latest wireless and GPS technology in order to ensure safety while working. The sandal prototype are embedded with an LCD screen, GPS receiver, radio beacon, speakers and wireless capacity. They are also customizable.
In addition to continuing her highly community-oriented work with the Aphrodite Project, Norene plans to create a new series of drawings that extend her more individualized fine-art practice.
Beth Ann Morrison
Beth Ann Morrison will be working on a project in collaboration with Arts Unbound and Walsh Gallery.
Individuals living with developmental, physical, or mental disabilities will be creating a large-scale sculptural installation to be exhbited at Walsh Gallery as One Breath, an "encompassing, organically-formed fabric environment. The floors will offer drifts of upholstered seating options, colored lighting will reflect the motions of visitors, multi-tonal sound will subtly drift through the space and the translucent walls will reveal the images of many people’s ideas of healing space."
She will begin by gathering donated and/or recycled fabrics and inviting groups of people to visit and create their contribution to the piece. She will be fabricating these elements into walls, as well as creating the floors, ceiling and foam pockets. The supporting structure will be created with found bamboo that will need to be soaked and shaped.
Margaret Murphy was born in Baltimore, Maryland in the working class
neighborhood of Hampden. Living now in Jersey City, NJ
for eleven years she claims it reminds her of Baltimore. Much of Margaret's work over the years has been
influenced by working class beliefs and values, feminism, kitsch,
religion and politics.
Ryan's first project at Aferro will be the construction of a miniature wooden
oil tower (approximately 9’ tall) with 5-7 interchangeable platforms.
On each platform a basin, made from beeswax, will house frozen
sculptures made from casein paint. The forms of these paint-sculptures
will resemble gas cans.
His work offers a "critique of materialist philosophy by making the unseen incarnate and dematerializing objects found within the immediate environment. The violence inherent in the depreciation of visualization is called into question in order to strategize new ways of being..."
In recent projects, vessels (milk cartons, wine bottles, etc.) derived from the artist's own consumptive practices have been cast
in frozen casein and encaustic and displayed as disappearing still lifes in the streets of New York City. As the sculptures dissolve, they begin to suggest monochromatic paintings, transforming the dross of the world into a subject of meditation.
"This act of recycling underlies the ambivalent relationship between object and image. As the ubiquitous, commercial vessel
loses its formal status and cultural significance, it simultaneously becomes material for a less distinct, yet more complex, referent."
Irys Schenker's work unites architectural concepts with craft traditions.
"Cardboard, yarn, thread, ribbon, fabric and other quotidian materials combine to explore how we relate to spaces and structures. I depict subtle moments of introspection within places that have traces of human inhabitance. I think of my work as a perpetual quest for home.
My stitched window screen pieces are like contemporary samplers. They use the idea of the simulacrum, navigating the limitations of the screen's grid to transform the original or copied image or model.
My new cardboard pieces are formed with an inquiry into concepts in Japanese and Modern architecture. "A House," is a depiction of a domicile where the rooms are discrete suspended components. Travel snapshots appear out of windows and skylights.
Currently I am working on a series of life size free standing facade-like cardboard structures called "Destinations."
Sara Wolfe's abstract paintings reference a childlike sense of space. She will be working on murals within her studio space utilizing rejected mixed house paint from the local Home Depot and independent hardware stores, in a process that she believes "ties local residents to the mural."
"As infants learning to draw make figures with twenty arms, they express a new awareness of their limbs rather than a representational observation. My act of painting similarly involves capturing our physical experience of existing in the world, and memories of those heightened moments of awareness.
My interest lies in memory: how we re-create, embellish and merge it with other experiences. I reference a physical experience from a moment ago and a tangential childhood memory in the same image. My work ultimately reveals a sense of play and a longing to re-create that state of innocence."