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Selected works produced in the
Akureyri Artists Studio Residency
With studio work at Punkturrin in Rósenborg
Hybrid: Lava ...
I am a hybrid, and love my
heritage, my Icelandic roots,
connections with my mother
and her family lineage.
Travelling, wo...
I first learned about Iceland through my grandparents, my mother’s parents. Ingibjorg,
my grandmother sang Icelandic sagas...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Extended family, cultural heritage
provided a continuity of familial
spirit during my...
My grandmother, Ingibjorg pictured here
at aged 20 something dominated my
thoughts and working process while
in Iceland.
H...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Akuryeri is a city
situated in
Northern Iceland
where many artists
live and work. The...
My juried residency
at the Akuryeri Artists Studio
(Gestavinnustofa Gilfélagsins / Gil Society)
in Akureyri Iceland
was ce...
Hybrid: Lava & Light ©
Debora Alanna
Work produced during
Akureyri Artists Studio Residency
Akureyri Iceland
June 2013
8
Through my childhood I was in the
midst of ancient Icelandic
influence progressing into myth
and poetics through abstracti...
Hybrid: Lava & Light became a
month of accessing Icelandic
poetics, forces of culture and
sensibilities. My ardent plunge
...
Icelandic light was pervasive during my
June residency. All vegetation
seemed consumed by the light’s
power, its sustained...
I began to connect with my cultural
source, with Iceland and its people,
the origins of my culture and its
complexity in p...
Iceland, its people, the land
urged me to consider the
poetics of space, Iceland’s
physical and emotional
space.
Walking i...
Summer remembers winter shows the
incongruity of memory, how
seasons clash and retain their
presence throughout all season...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
In Iceland, lava fields are new and old. This
is a photograph taken in an old moss
co...
Work practices were
transformed by Iceland’s
physicality.
Iceland’s valiant potency and
fortitude determined how
I followe...
Water through the Eyjafjörður bay, delta afforded access to Akureyri from the North
Atlantic ocean. This water, the terrai...
Reflecting on the Eyjafjörður water and
surrounding mountains, reading
Icelandic myths and legends,
basking in the sun day...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
This photo looks down at the residency studio building, centre,
just behind the parki...
Walking, too along the Eyjafjörður river
delta, along side mountains in
every direction, I began to sense
apparitions.
Thi...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Working in June, the sun was nearing and entered the summer solstice. This photo was
...
Sleeplessness, with not
remembering or
realizing what time of
day I was working in
played on my
imagination, affected
the ...
During the course of my
residency I developed a
tooth ache. This is how
my toothache felt before
dental surgery.
A differe...
Self portraiture serves to offer me insight
into how I am feeling at any given
moment. Here, I show my ideas are
brewing, ...
A self portrait, embodying the
huldefolk as self allowed me to
emotively respond to the
Icelandic myth and lore.
I am util...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
This work is my growing intensity
through my dwelling within
Icelandic sensibilities,...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 27
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
A transition occurred in my work during the Akureyri residency. I began to leave the ...
This work reveals my
unconscious response to the
Icelandic environment,
delving into its land
composition influence.
My co...
My mother, Jona was nicknamed
Crow, being very white blonde,
and mischievous in her youth.
Her presence was alive during
t...
Inevitably, my residency in Iceland
became a mental visit to other
residency experiences.
Memories of my residency in
Indi...
Investigating and integrating Icelanders’ thought process, their understanding of life
into new work, within the opportuni...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Studio life involved living
to work with the aid of
constant light to confuse
and sus...
Dwellings and especially the
relationship people have to
what they value, delving into
time through narratives allows
seei...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Pragmatic wires across a
swan pond near the
public pool instilled
an uneasiness, a
br...
Shapes, forms and shadows are
strongly featured in my work.
Shapes that delineate or contour,
forms that hold, structure a...
My awareness of Icelandic sensibilities
were enhanced through accessing
intimacy of place - Iceland’s
landscapes.
Lots of ...
June, the month of my residency
was dominated by the ever
present sun.
Sun of the day of the sun sun day
shows how the sun...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
In preparation for beginning sculpture work, I did a flurry of drawing on 6 x 8” pape...
Part 1: Landscapes
When the mountain divides the sun and the moon
Leaning
Cleave
Eyeing
When the sun is held by the sky an...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 41
Artist colleague
Gunnar Kr Jónasson
kindly offered a bag of
Styrofoam remnants to
work with. Using an
incising knife I fou...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Einar Jónsson (1874-1954) was a
relative on my grandmother’s side of
the family. I wa...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Struck by the variety of
mountain formations, what
was as thrilling was seeing
the su...
Leaning is not a freestanding work. It must be
propped against a wall or a edifice,
structure. The work presupposes a need...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
The word, cleave means to split, penetrate, divide as in a cleft, disassociate, divid...
Eyeing is about how the land and the
viewer correlate. The viewer
integrates their spirit with land,
blends their awarenes...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
I experienced expansive skies and
vast surrounding waters that
fused with mountain ra...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 49
Punkturrin is a community creative centre. Akureyri residents come to the ground floor studios to
learn about and make cer...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Punkturinn (the Point)
is a community
crafts facility, a
series of public
craft studi...
Work produced during
Akureyri Artists Studio Residency
Akureyri Iceland
June 2013
Part 2: Icelandic Eye(s)
Learing Punturrin existed, I visited the facility to
discover a kiln and assistance to make
Icelandic Eyes.
5 moulds were ...
Using a circle cutter, cutting
glass from a single
sheet to prevent kiln
breakage.
The circles were further cut
to develop...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Tapping out the circle shapes
after incising sheet.
Organizing and
assembling cut gla...
Smashing lava to make centres for
Icelandic Eye(s).
Experiment (sample) to
ensure lava would not
explode in kiln. Lava
fra...
Icelandic Eye moulds dry and ready for
glass treatment.
Icelandic Eye –
prepped in mould
with lava centre
(pupil).
Hybrid:...
Icelandic Eye (s) in kiln
ready to be fired.
Icelandic Eye (s) – prepped in
mould before firing.
The glass on the moulds
w...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Once the glass on the
moulds has fired and
cooled for 1-2 hours,
moulds are broken to...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 60
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 61
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 62
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 63
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 64
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Displayed on green velvet, 5 kiln fired glass
slumped over hand carved moulds with la...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Part 3: The World is Askew
~ an installation.
66
Maybe it was the constant summer equinox light that triggered this work – perhaps the
light component, the spheres of ligh...
Outside the residency door, large
swaths of vinyl, yellow plastic
tape, 2 x 2” wood lengths were
awaiting recycling, remna...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Utilizing found materials seemed
appropriate and applicable to my
thoughts about, nee...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Framing the work began by joining the
lengths of wood, awry. No joint was to be
true....
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Swaths of vinyl were
washed, laid out on the
floor to plan how they
were to be used w...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Circles were fortified
with found yellow tubing
spliced to extend the
segment lengths...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Back view of
The World is Askew.
The reverse (unexhibited
view) of the vinyl
stapled ...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Top detail view:
The World is Askew.
Detail of a carved
Styrofoam insert.
74
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 75
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 76
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 77
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 78
Special thanks to my family & all the
friends & colleagues that encouraged me
to embark on this residency adventure,
promo...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
During my Indiegogo campaign, the following people (in alphabetical order)
donated to...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
Special thanks to:
Sérstakar þakkir til:
Gyða Bergþórsdóttir & Mundi / family
Guðrún ...
Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna
© Debora Alanna 2014
82
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Hybrid: Lava & Light - 2013 residency and exhibition in Akureyri Iceland

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Documentation of Hybrid: Lava & Light - art production residency at Akureyri Artist Studio & exhibition of work at the Populus Tremula Gallery 2013.

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Transcript of "Hybrid: Lava & Light - 2013 residency and exhibition in Akureyri Iceland"

  1. 1. Selected works produced in the Akureyri Artists Studio Residency With studio work at Punkturrin in Rósenborg Hybrid: Lava & Light [solo exhibition] Populus Tremula Gallery June 2013 Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 1
  2. 2. I am a hybrid, and love my heritage, my Icelandic roots, connections with my mother and her family lineage. Travelling, working in Iceland in 2013 seemed vital to learning more about the depths and mystery of my heritage through contact with the place my ancestors came from. Lava and light became catalysts for my adventure and inspired, prompted subsequent work. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 2
  3. 3. I first learned about Iceland through my grandparents, my mother’s parents. Ingibjorg, my grandmother sang Icelandic sagas from memory, a capella, taught me Icelandic folklore and nourished me with Icelandic food. Thorvalder, my grandfather was a storyteller. He employed folk remedies. In my childhood, Grýla was always lurking, and other huldufolk afforded mischievous antics to admire. Dreams were symbols and messages evoking Icelandic confidence. It seems I was in the midst of ancient Icelandic influence progressing into conceptualization through my art, which I addressed in new work, in Iceland. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 3
  4. 4. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Extended family, cultural heritage provided a continuity of familial spirit during my residency in Iceland. 4
  5. 5. My grandmother, Ingibjorg pictured here at aged 20 something dominated my thoughts and working process while in Iceland. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 5
  6. 6. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Akuryeri is a city situated in Northern Iceland where many artists live and work. The town afforded a beautiful, vibrant setting to work in residence. Welcomed by new colleagues, visiting the town’s amenities, I felt inspirited to work in new ways . 6
  7. 7. My juried residency at the Akuryeri Artists Studio (Gestavinnustofa Gilfélagsins / Gil Society) in Akureyri Iceland was central, comfortable and availed ample space to work. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 7
  8. 8. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Work produced during Akureyri Artists Studio Residency Akureyri Iceland June 2013 8
  9. 9. Through my childhood I was in the midst of ancient Icelandic influence progressing into myth and poetics through abstraction and figuration through my art, which I began to address in new work, in Iceland. This is the first drawing I made during my Akuryeri residency at the Akuryeri Artists Studio: http://artistsstudio.blogspot.ca /2008/01/guest-studio.html Huldufólk is an image of the hidden people that occupy Iceland’s folklore. I felt their presence first during a visit to Árnes prior to my residency. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Graphite on paper 9
  10. 10. Hybrid: Lava & Light became a month of accessing Icelandic poetics, forces of culture and sensibilities. My ardent plunge into my surroundings and heritage, my psyche required wielding this fabulous tool to hone in on Icelanders’ natures, Icelandic forms and cadences. I was able to bridge the deep lore and imbibe Icelandic intrigue thorough my residency. I needed to use this device to alight on and extract, articulate the vastness about me. I implemented my machination with this grapple.Dry pastels on paper Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 10
  11. 11. Icelandic light was pervasive during my June residency. All vegetation seemed consumed by the light’s power, its sustained brilliance. My colour palate, previously fairly muted, suddenly burst forth with glorious intensity. This work addresses the deep shadows that occurred with the continuous sun shine. The work addresses the burning of desire, the shadows of isolation and its release, allowing colourful munificence, a generosity of spirit that grows from the Jungian archetype, shadow, that acknowledges the primitive sexual, assertive, sometimes quarrelsome instincts. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna ink, acrylic, water soluble wax pastels on paper 11
  12. 12. I began to connect with my cultural source, with Iceland and its people, the origins of my culture and its complexity in present time. I began to assimilate Icelandic strength and diversity. Icelanders have specific insight, fierce autonomy and I am proud of my heritage. Leaning, the predilection to favour or rely on an idea allows an inclination to some slant, that might fall short, or separate from the hold on the thought, allowing the trespass of wonder, a space where cursive lines, articulated space evolves into a conflicting but vigorous space for contemplation. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna ink, acrylic, water soluble wax pastels on paper 12
  13. 13. Iceland, its people, the land urged me to consider the poetics of space, Iceland’s physical and emotional space. Walking in often windy weather, the I began to plot the path from here to there, the Akureyri streetscape as a sensory manifestation. My route to the grocery store, via the liquor store became a visual poem of wind blown enjoyment. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 13
  14. 14. Summer remembers winter shows the incongruity of memory, how seasons clash and retain their presence throughout all seasons. Looking up the street from the Akueryri Artists Studio residence, buildings seem to retain a memory of snow and ice, of cold, winter’s substance. The transitory experience of seasons, phases defined by weather or life stages does not escape memory’s retention and consequential layers of flurry and storm, glistening splendour, seasonal advantages and attractions. This work translates some of this memory processing. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna patching compound, acrylic, water soluble wax pastels on paper 14
  15. 15. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna In Iceland, lava fields are new and old. This is a photograph taken in an old moss covered lava field near where farmers keep horses. The summer green mounds are lush and flagrant in their barefaced exposure, manifesting the original, but worn lava undulations. I sat on this lava field prior to working in the Akureyri residency. 15
  16. 16. Work practices were transformed by Iceland’s physicality. Iceland’s valiant potency and fortitude determined how I followed through with my project, evolving poetic Icelandic intangibles into transformative work – converting Icelandic energy through my art practice. Sitting on a lava field allowed me an integration within the influence of lava, its discharge, its eventual land formation and acceptance, and felt the resolve of Iceland’s people to continue to live and thrive on lava landscapes. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 16
  17. 17. Water through the Eyjafjörður bay, delta afforded access to Akureyri from the North Atlantic ocean. This water, the terrain of the whales, water birds and fish banked Akureyri with a turbulence, accessing food, bringing the Northern community prosperity of tourism. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 17
  18. 18. Reflecting on the Eyjafjörður water and surrounding mountains, reading Icelandic myths and legends, basking in the sun day and night, I became the subject of my own myth. Cartooning has not ever been a part of my art practice. I had not painted much prior to this residency. Suddenly, I am depicting humorous situations , symbolic and wry, living and working characterized in any of the Icelandic sagas or eddas. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 18
  19. 19. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna This photo looks down at the residency studio building, centre, just behind the parking lot after the curve in the road. The residency door is on the far right. You can see the skylights on the flat roof of the studio, to the right of a green embankment. Beyond you can see the Eyjafjörður bay with a cruise ship docked in its harbour. 19
  20. 20. Walking, too along the Eyjafjörður river delta, along side mountains in every direction, I began to sense apparitions. This creature followed me all the way back to the residency studio from a nearby hillside. The work is a huldefolk visage, with its consternation. The work is a presentiment of its discomfort. Foreboding, and a little menacing, it is a portrait of a staunch creature of the night. Summer nights in Iceland is bright, and the creature’s trepidation at being found out is apparent and captured in the work. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 20
  21. 21. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Working in June, the sun was nearing and entered the summer solstice. This photo was taken of the 3am sky, with pink colouring the single cloud in an otherwise clear blue sky on the 21st of June. The sustaining of light affected huldefolk antics. My thought processes embraced the antics and light, separately and together. 21
  22. 22. Sleeplessness, with not remembering or realizing what time of day I was working in played on my imagination, affected the subject and treatment of figure/subject and colouration of my work. Mischief is the waywardness of the huldefolk, their antics in combination with the Icelandic landscape and solstice sun, gleaned when I was sleep-awake. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 22
  23. 23. During the course of my residency I developed a tooth ache. This is how my toothache felt before dental surgery. A different kind of mischief... Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Acrylic, plaster bandage, ink, water soluble wax pastels 23
  24. 24. Self portraiture serves to offer me insight into how I am feeling at any given moment. Here, I show my ideas are brewing, post tooth surgery. This portrait depicts me as a teapot, a character I assumed when performing in a figure skating presentation as a child. Childhood memories are strong and enduring. Juxtaposing my love of coffee (within the title), with my adult self living and working in Iceland seems to show how I can maintain the childlike joy at playful caricature while working to expend significant considerations. To me, the drawing of the neck and collar is sculpture ideas hearkening. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 24
  25. 25. A self portrait, embodying the huldefolk as self allowed me to emotively respond to the Icelandic myth and lore. I am utilizing a similar colour palate to the work in the previous slide. However, the treatment of the self image is entirely different. The emotional intensity experienced working in Iceland manifests as flame. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 25
  26. 26. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna This work is my growing intensity through my dwelling within Icelandic sensibilities, exploration, discoveries about its people and the land that spoke to me. Feeling that I was extending, stretching my intuitive and objective self, I accepted the stretch as a significant opportunity to exert a brighter and enjoyable colour palate, a figurative departure, allowing the power of each insight to manifest as constructs of emotion with pensive outbursts. 26
  27. 27. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 27
  28. 28. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna A transition occurred in my work during the Akureyri residency. I began to leave the literal and mythologized concepts and work with ideas that translated the environment to new experiences, feelings, thoughts that had no previous definition. These works became haptic spaces. 28
  29. 29. This work reveals my unconscious response to the Icelandic environment, delving into its land composition influence. My colour palate is consistency hot. Although the blue skies, blue mountains, blue water was all around me, reds, oranges, intense colours emerged as my colours of choice, of how I felt about the unspoken sensibilities of the Icelandic psyche, my psyche in relation to where I was, what I was experiencing. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna ink, acrylic, water soluble wax pastels on paper 29
  30. 30. My mother, Jona was nicknamed Crow, being very white blonde, and mischievous in her youth. Her presence was alive during this residency. The title of this work refers to an Icelandic tale that originates from Vestmannaeyjar (the Westman-Islands), where my grandmother lived. Villborg was a woman kind to ravens and one saved her from a landslide because of her kindness. My mother became a nurse, and was aptly nicknamed, allegorically. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna ink, acrylic, water soluble wax pastels on paper 30
  31. 31. Inevitably, my residency in Iceland became a mental visit to other residency experiences. Memories of my residency in India, and an amalgam of the mythological Hindu imagery (Kali, goddess of empowerment, Hanuman (monkey), Shiva’s avatar , Kali’s consort, a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion) with Freya’s story, where she is taken hostage (goddess of sex, fertility, war, and wealth) combined into this work. The garden the work takes place in seems to have shrunk to Bonsai size. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 31
  32. 32. Investigating and integrating Icelanders’ thought process, their understanding of life into new work, within the opportunity available through the Akureyri Artists Residency program, I began reflecting on my past in new ways. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Street art – Akureyri. Artist unknown. Photo by Debora Alanna 32
  33. 33. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Studio life involved living to work with the aid of constant light to confuse and sustain work - forgetting to sleep, a topsy turvey existence where work was dominant and continuous. 33
  34. 34. Dwellings and especially the relationship people have to what they value, delving into time through narratives allows seeing, converting the tender tangibility of these poetic experiences into my work. Although this work was initially based on a pillow on the residency couch, when Jackson Pollock’s spirit visited, it required a prop up. This pillow painting is the cushion between historical reference and wild imaginings in my Iceland residency. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna ink, acrylic, water soluble wax pastels on paper 34
  35. 35. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Pragmatic wires across a swan pond near the public pool instilled an uneasiness, a brooding impediment argufying civilized constraints. Most works in this series could be reconfigured for larger works in acrylic or oil. This work, although it captures the swan park seems to be a notation for a further treatment. 35
  36. 36. Shapes, forms and shadows are strongly featured in my work. Shapes that delineate or contour, forms that hold, structure and perform as the essence of what has been shaped. Shadows work as interception, influence, mirrors. This work shapes emotional responses to planetary concerns of pollution, its impact on our shared oceans and air, its affects on people in the global community. The forms within the work transfigure human features, and foreshadows the loss of planetary integrity, an human foibles that choose to engage in harmful exploits, actions that devastate on our planet. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 36
  37. 37. My awareness of Icelandic sensibilities were enhanced through accessing intimacy of place - Iceland’s landscapes. Lots of streams and rivulets, waterfalls worked their way down from the nearby mountains. This work is about a waterway running up, a reverse motion to natural, existing waterways. Shown is the creative act, how going against the flow, inverting presumptions of normalcy results in transposing thoughts, charging the physicality of place, the human experience with a converse course. Connecting the source of flow with the sky illustrates the connectivity possible through the emerging synergetic current. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 37
  38. 38. June, the month of my residency was dominated by the ever present sun. Sun of the day of the sun sun day shows how the sun moved around the sky above, fulsome, changing its quality and position a little by the hour but remained ubiquitous. The sun’s sphere, its glow became a sculptural entity, more than light, more than a orb in the sky. Each hour’s sun married itself to the next, where the sky lost its presence when cloudless. The sky was almost always cloudless, with the prevailing sun circling, ever immediate. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Dry pastel on paper 38
  39. 39. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna In preparation for beginning sculpture work, I did a flurry of drawing on 6 x 8” paper with dry pastels, the same medium as in the previous slide. Sculpture forms, ideas began to surge, some seen in this selection of drawings. 39
  40. 40. Part 1: Landscapes When the mountain divides the sun and the moon Leaning Cleave Eyeing When the sun is held by the sky and the land Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Work produced during Akureyri Artists Studio Residency Akureyri Iceland June 2013 40
  41. 41. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 41
  42. 42. Artist colleague Gunnar Kr Jónasson kindly offered a bag of Styrofoam remnants to work with. Using an incising knife I found in a drawer and rasps brought with me, I was able to cut and shape a set of works I collectively called Landscapes. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Process... 42
  43. 43. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Einar Jónsson (1874-1954) was a relative on my grandmother’s side of the family. I was happy to visit his house turned museum of his work in Reykjavik prior to my residency. I had seen photographs of his work in catalogues my relatives had collected over the years. Jónsson’s sculpture felt deeply part of my psyche. Experiencing them showed me a dimension of my art practice that is inherent and profound, connected to who I am as an artist. Working in white, the Styrofoam allowed a succinct translation of Iceland’s landscape that connected with Jónsson’s sensibility. 43
  44. 44. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Struck by the variety of mountain formations, what was as thrilling was seeing the sun and the moon together in the sky, once between a mountain peaks of a mountain range. This image translated to this sculpture. This work is also showing how the mountainous can be balanced by the enormity of light and how reconfiguring dimensions can allow playful interplay in lives lived. 44
  45. 45. Leaning is not a freestanding work. It must be propped against a wall or a edifice, structure. The work presupposes a need for or dependency of something else for its existence. It is essentially autonomous. The lean of Leaning is critical to its display. The work is a vertical turbulence connected to a sharp, steep curve to around its back. The vertical is a longing to the upper stratosphere, a movement of hope and aspiration. The curve is the grounding , an intrepid arm of encouragement. Together, the expectant optimism and assurance are not enough. The composition slants towards, is sustained by otherness. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 45
  46. 46. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna The word, cleave means to split, penetrate, divide as in a cleft, disassociate, divide, segment, as a clove. The word also means to adhere, be faithful, hold together. Cleave (a conversation) employs the duality of the meaning. Conversations have many characteristics, depending on who is engaged in the action. This work suggests the character of a conversation showing to entail separate component bound to connect and yet diverge. 46
  47. 47. Eyeing is about how the land and the viewer correlate. The viewer integrates their spirit with land, blends their awareness with the immensity of the land. The land envelops the viewer. In this work, the land emulates, takes on the characteristics of people that acknowledge its presence. The land becomes an organ of sensation. Eyeing is a recognisable integral of land liveliness. Eyeing demonstrates how the symbiotic affects people and place as witness and overseer through reciprocal sentience. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 47
  48. 48. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna I experienced expansive skies and vast surrounding waters that fused with mountain ranges. The vistas seemed to hold the perpetual summer sun during my residency. Sun, the orb, seemed to be embraced, cleaved to by the sky that merged with the waters amalgamated with mountains in their monochrome, clinging to one another as a unifying association. The sun, central and ever present formed an attachment between the advancing, enfolding and encircling natures of its surrounds. 48
  49. 49. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 49
  50. 50. Punkturrin is a community creative centre. Akureyri residents come to the ground floor studios to learn about and make ceramics, weave and undertake knitting projects, slump glass and participate in other crafting endeavours. Using the studio and kiln as a guest to make glass sculpture was assisted by their craft leaders. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 50
  51. 51. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Punkturinn (the Point) is a community crafts facility, a series of public craft studios located in the lower level of the Rósenborg building, centre of social and human rights. Icelandic Eye(s) was produced and fired in the glass studio. Technology assistance was provided by artist and glass technologist Ragney Guðbjartsdóttir. 51
  52. 52. Work produced during Akureyri Artists Studio Residency Akureyri Iceland June 2013 Part 2: Icelandic Eye(s)
  53. 53. Learing Punturrin existed, I visited the facility to discover a kiln and assistance to make Icelandic Eyes. 5 moulds were made. Carving wet plaster mixed with a hardener enabled 5 unique sculpture formations. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 53
  54. 54. Using a circle cutter, cutting glass from a single sheet to prevent kiln breakage. The circles were further cut to develop texture on the final kiln fired work. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 54
  55. 55. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Tapping out the circle shapes after incising sheet. Organizing and assembling cut glass. 55
  56. 56. Smashing lava to make centres for Icelandic Eye(s). Experiment (sample) to ensure lava would not explode in kiln. Lava fragment sandwiched between 2 pieces of glass fired prior to sculpture construction. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 56
  57. 57. Icelandic Eye moulds dry and ready for glass treatment. Icelandic Eye – prepped in mould with lava centre (pupil). Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 57
  58. 58. Icelandic Eye (s) in kiln ready to be fired. Icelandic Eye (s) – prepped in mould before firing. The glass on the moulds was fired for 24 hours. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 58
  59. 59. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Once the glass on the moulds has fired and cooled for 1-2 hours, moulds are broken to remove the glass, and ensure each sculpture is unique. 59
  60. 60. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 60
  61. 61. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 61
  62. 62. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 62
  63. 63. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 63
  64. 64. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 64
  65. 65. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Displayed on green velvet, 5 kiln fired glass slumped over hand carved moulds with lava centres formed Icelandic Eye(s). Stage lighting arranged behind the installation further enhanced the work. 65
  66. 66. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Part 3: The World is Askew ~ an installation. 66
  67. 67. Maybe it was the constant summer equinox light that triggered this work – perhaps the light component, the spheres of light within the work. Maybe it was being on ancestral land, going back and going forward in time the allowed the constructed waves above the main structure to vehemently undulate. Maybe it was the realisation of returning to a place held as a dream by my mother, grandparents that allowed the dream-like glow of the work. Maybe it was being in the midst of a place where culture thrives in spite of isolation, a country that seems bare but is redolent with life that began the thoughts of variance within the work. Maybe it is the honouring of stories that live luxuriously in the hearts and minds of its citizens that allowed the wafting of texture. Maybe it was my growing awareness of environmental acuity in a place where geothermal energy is coveted world wide, where harvesting the fish is still possible, where imported food is still prevalent that initiated the triangular forms, teeth of a monster jaw, a whale of indentation. Maybe it is because in spite of strengths that Icelanders as world citizens appreciate and share in their abundance, there is a quiet disturbance felt by everyone in this country, shared by many in other countries. Concerns of environmental abuse discomfit. Strained political relations generate detrimental outcomes and warring factions. Ancient lessons are ignored or dismissed as irrelevant or impossible. Enough, plenty is contrasted with a scarcity of sense, fear. The world is askew. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 67
  68. 68. Outside the residency door, large swaths of vinyl, yellow plastic tape, 2 x 2” wood lengths were awaiting recycling, remnants of a builder’s job. Found material seemed integral to the work. I was delighted to find material I could use right outside the residency door. It seemed to be waiting for harvest. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 68
  69. 69. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Utilizing found materials seemed appropriate and applicable to my thoughts about, need for making an installation at the Populus Tremula, an integral component of Hybrid: Lava & Light. Found material has a long history that I have not easily adopted. I felt I needed to transgress previous work practices to enable a diagonal thought trajectory. Using found material formed oblique transverse work to connect with disparate thoughts. The main studio space had adequate room to lay out the wood. I found mismatched hinges to join lengths of wood to each other. 69
  70. 70. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Framing the work began by joining the lengths of wood, awry. No joint was to be true. No length of wood level. 70
  71. 71. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Swaths of vinyl were washed, laid out on the floor to plan how they were to be used within the work. Some round cuts had been made in one piece of vinyl. Developing these cuts seemed integral to the work. 71
  72. 72. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Circles were fortified with found yellow tubing spliced to extend the segment lengths. Plastic bags were split to devise portholes, apertures to the light that would be projected within and through the work. 72
  73. 73. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Back view of The World is Askew. The reverse (unexhibited view) of the vinyl stapled to the frame, the plastic glued to the apertures and draped from the top mast is drying in these views. A blue plastic swath was stapled to the very top, undulating as a queasy feeling. 73
  74. 74. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Top detail view: The World is Askew. Detail of a carved Styrofoam insert. 74
  75. 75. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 75
  76. 76. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 76
  77. 77. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 77
  78. 78. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 78
  79. 79. Special thanks to my family & all the friends & colleagues that encouraged me to embark on this residency adventure, promoted my project among their friends and colleagues to enable funding to travel, make work and show in Iceland. Thanks to everyone who attended my exhibition in person and online! Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna 79
  80. 80. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna During my Indiegogo campaign, the following people (in alphabetical order) donated to enable my residency and exhibition, provided the means to travel to Iceland, work and produce Hybrid: Lava & Light. YOU ARE STARS! 1. Anonymous x 4 2. Glenn Alteen (Canada) 3. Bruce Esplin (Australia) 4. Candace Forbes (Canada) 5. Roy Green (Canada) 6. Gaetano de Gregorio (Italy) 7. Jane Hsiaoching Wang (USA) 8. James K-M (Canada) 9. Nancy Masson (Canada) 10. Kaethe Sabr (Canada) 11. Richard Streitmatter-Tran (Vietnam) 12. Jillian Player (Canada) 13. Susan Pyne x 2 (Canada) 14. Chris de Vries (Canada) 80
  81. 81. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna Special thanks to: Sérstakar þakkir til: Gyða Bergþórsdóttir & Mundi / family Guðrún Jóhanna Guðmundsdóttir & Jóhannes / family Ragney Guðbjartsdóttir Sigríður Erna Ingólfsdóttir Gunnar Kr Jónasson Aðalsteinn Svanur Sigfússon Kristján Pétur Sigurðsson Bessi Skírnisson Akureyri Artists Studio - Gestavinnustofa Gilfélagsins á Akureyri - Gil Society Ásprent Menningarráð Eyþings Punkturrin Populus Tremula 81
  82. 82. Hybrid: Lava & Light © Debora Alanna © Debora Alanna 2014 82
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