The Harrison Center’s Nikki Owens, Kipp Normand and Alicia Zanoni traveled to Delhi, India last month to participate in a 3-week artist residency at Reflection Art Studios. We will be sharing their experiences and the work they created here.
“Glances,” is made of portrait pairs featuring each of the artists at the Art for Change Residency. On the left of each pair is an exact likeness made with charcoal, reflecting the identities we carry of ourselves. This is the face we watch as we brush our teeth, the face we know increasingly well with each new eye crease, the face that represents cares, hopes, fears, and memories we carry with us always. On the right is a second image, made by placing blank rice paper over the first image and rubbing it with linseed oil to extract some of the charcoal pigment. An obscured copy of the exact likeness, it calls our attention to the image others have of us as we pass them each day.
In a glance, we don’t have the capacity to see others as whole people. Our brain forces us to filter out anything more than a corner of a shirt collar, an eye, or a bright color shape. But this obscured image is inseparable from the identity they carry as a whole person. In the same way, the lifelong identity we carry of ourselves is not all we are, either. We, too, are only a moment. We are a moment in the sense that our lives pass so quickly, but we are also a literal moment at times - every day strangers see us for two seconds and never again.
As viewers entered this installation they were surrounded by small sheets of rice paper, delicate like skin, suspended from the ceiling by gold thread. Individual studies, as well as blank rice paper, hung between the artists' portraits. This was meant to evoke a feeling of standing in a crowd of people, each loaded with so much significance as well as insignificance. The blurred people we pass are also so much more than we could ever see. And the full, detailed identity of ourselves is also so much less.