"My work has been an accumulation of marks that signify my relationship with the machine. The work is way of dealing with my ongoing concern about proliferation, excess consumption and waste. Humanity keeps on making stuff, filling up space, landfills and oceans with the detritus of our lives.
The drawings from the last several years have been an exploration in relearning the use of traditional mark making. My source was images from automobile parts schematics. I employed a semi-blind contour method to create pen drawings of machines that neither function nor propel. These drawings were enlarged and hand-printed using the processes of Xerox transfer and paper-plate lithography.
The Bayeux Tapestry records the Battle of Hastings of 1066. The narrative is embroidered and measures over 200 feet in length. I have appropriated images from the tapestry and juxtaposed loosely drawn engine parts on the surface as a device to link the past and the present. The tapestry functions as a backdrop where aggression, death, conquest, deception and manipulation are played out. It also speaks to my own heritage, a mix of Scandinavian, Welsh, and English (with a bit of Blackfoot Indian).
Toy Tin Robots are a stand-in both for the continuum of history and as a form of self- portrait. Where two robots appear together this alludes to myself and my disabled twin brother. I recalled the images such as the Tin Robot in the “Wizard of Oz”, the Female Robot in “Metropolis” and Klattu, the robot from “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” These robots were portrayed to aid, confuse or to destroy. In Isaac Asimov's Robot Stories he posits the 4 laws of robotics. They are: 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws. A fourth was added later: 4. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm. If I am to believe Asimov’s laws then Robots are more humane than humans.
My recent work continues to juxtapose this uneasy relationship between historical past, my own personal past, and an uncertain future."
David Jones is the Founder and Director of Anchor Graphics. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he moved to the Midwest to pursue studies in photography and printmaking. He attended the Center for Photographic Studies, Louisville; Banff Centre for the Arts; the Vancouver School of Art; received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, and is currently pursuing his MFA at the Center for Book and Paper Arts. He has taught printmaking at the Chicago Art Institute, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, and Columbia College Chicago, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis and the Board of Directors of Southern Graphics Council International. He was Interim Director at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, NYC.
"My current work, Notes from the Sea,addresses industrial irresponsibility and recklessness; sustainability and the world’s marine ecosystems. The ocean is home to drifting plants, ocean travelers, microbes, and plastic and metal waste: industrial debris and fragments of sea life are entangled in a dance of loss and destruction.
One of my sources is the World Ocean Census, A Global Survey of Marine Life, by Crist, Scowcroft, and Harding (Firefly Books, 2009), which presents the findings of an ambitious ten-year charting of the varied life forms that live within the global ocean. The development of satellite telemetry has enabled scientists to track the movements of tagged animals like sea turtles, and the information derived from the various locations through which the sea creature moves provides an oceanographic map of those areas.
The irregularly shaped wood panels combine individual puzzle pieces that reflect our interdependence and interconnectedness. There is ongoing morphing and interaction between the organic and metal shapes (tools, hardware, pipes and conduits). The maze of industrial parts disrupts or blocks the free-flowing undersea life. The circle pieces are like microscopic views, lily pad forms, or portholes, like a window into this undersea world where broken bits of machinery and fragments of plant and sea life float by.
The work reflects the clash/coexistence between the industrial and the natural worlds, and also alludes to a delving into the subconscious, going under the surface to stir up memories and bits and pieces of one’s life. Brought to the surface, these Notes reveal a wealth of metaphoric imagery. The sea turtle is also a manifestation of my subconscious. It is an ancient symbol of creativity, longevity, resilience, tenacity, endurance, and persistence. They travel great distances and persevere through obstacles. In many cultures they are associated with creation myths, as a link to heaven and earth, and in some, they carry the world on their back."
Born in upstate New York, Chicago-based artist Marilyn Propp (BA University of Pennsylvania, MA University of Missouri-Kansas City) attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, the Brooklyn Museum Art School, the Provincetown Workshop, and San Francisco Art Institute’s pre-MFA program. She has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Loyola University. In 1990 she co-founded Anchor Graphics, now a part of the A+D Department at Columbia College. Since 2002 she has been adjunct faculty in the Art + Design Department and recently the Interdisciplinary Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago.
"My work may be regarded as a metaphor for the inevitable, yet unpredictable changes wrought by the passage of time. It is a collection of found objects and images which function as relics of a nostalgic yet ambiguous narrative. If the work in question has any meaning in the accepted sense it is in its ability to engage the viewer in a creative dialogue through a vocabulary of dislocated materials and images where the outmoded, the ephemeral and the commonplace are gathered together and transformed by the recognition they generate into symbols of the enigma of eternity haunted by mortality; where oblivion unites with memory beyond the limitations of linear time." - Wayne Bertola
Wayne Bertola is a studio artist living in Chicago, Illinois. He exhibits extensively in Chicago and through out the Midwest. Most recently, Bertola has shown his works at The Purdue University Galleries, 33 Contemporary Gallery, and The Black Cloud Gallery in Chicago.
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Ames School of Art
Illinois Wesleyan University
6 Ames Plaza West
Bloomington, Illinois 61701