GEOLOGIC - by Andrea Krupp - Sept. 9 - Oct. 9, 2016
Through my creative process I seek to deepen my understanding of the where, when and why of my existence. Scientists have now officially gone on record to state that humanity has reached the end of the Holocene and entered into a new epoch – the Anthropocene – thereby acknowledging our impact on Earth's geology and systems. This term, and all that it implies, creates an urgent context for my thinking about the realities of the here and now.
I have been privileged to experience the otherworldly beauty and the deep silence of the Icelandic landscape. At the same time, I know that to physically access these fragile places is also to consume them, and that makes me complicit in their destruction. It is a painful truth. We live in a time of radical change, and I feel the grief that accompanies a sense of the inevitable losses to come. As a visual artist, I am compelled to find expression for these universal and human feelings, to act as transmitter of who, where, and why we are now.
As a visual artist, I can best express my own agency by paying attention to and standing as a witness to the realities of my world; by looking to the past for historical context and creating new perspectives on the present moment; by searching for personal meaning within our shared existence as a species on Earth; and through the creative process, interpreting and transmitting my experience.
Anchoring my experience of the present within the Deep Time of Earth's geologic history is a calming practice. It is my way of absorbing the shocks and worries of the Anthropocene by placing them in an un-human time frame, a perspective where humanity is insignificant within the context of all-time and the Yawning Gap of the universe.
With these collages and drawings, created in North Iceland in 2015 and 2016, I want to give voice to the GEOLOGIC.
I am happy and grateful for this opportunity to share my work and my thoughts with you. Email me with any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks
Andrea Krupp Cerulean Arts March 2016 - “The resonance of place”
Iceland changed me.
This is all new for me. Standing in silence, facing nature. I feel like I am looking out and looking in simultaneously. Time washes through me and the present moment fades into the past. I feel humbled and impermanent, yet deeply connected to the world. Melancholy is here. The mountains stand in silence. They witness the creep of the millennia, and remain until the sun goes out, and darkness swallows everything.
Time is present in Iceland. It is in the silence, which contains all of time within itself. Time is transmitted through the Earth, visible in the accretions and erosions, the tearings and torrents. Through the footpaths, deep trodden by Vikings, long ago, and by me, in the here and now. Through place names handed down through the ages. Time is encapsulated in the written word, which transmits something about a mortal life, the past and the dead.
I gaze out into the wilderness of Iceland. My eye traces lines, marks the horizon, establishes scale and distance. I see where the mountain intersects with sea and sky. The lines extend down into the Earth like a cast shadow, and up into the sky like the angle of the sun. They meet in a stable point around which the universe whirls. Landscape mirrors the silence and the space that surrounds me. I follow this line of thought, and go deeper still, to the universe that lies both within and without.
If landscape can function as a mirror of self, for me it does, then wilderness stands for the parts of myself that are unknown to me.
Wilderness is the part of nature that is hidden, and terrifying. HIC SVNT LEONES, and trolls, elves, outlaws, our very shadows. Every being shares this awe of nature, knowing we will be brought to our knees by it in the end. Icelanders know it, living at the Northernmost edge of the habitable world.
As a rare book conservator and historian, I spend a lot of time around books, so it is natural that I should be drawn to the word hoards in archives and libraries all around Iceland. In these quiet spaces I listen to voices from the past that emerge from manuscripts and books. I am deeply interested in these artifacts, the diaries and logbooks are poignant testimony of a life. The day to day of an otherwise anonymous life, diligently noted. It was a very hard winter. This path of discovery brings me to a deeper understanding of Iceland present and past. And looking up from the pages, I sense the nearness of the wilderness, and it is oddly comforting.
At the beginning of the 21st century, consciously or unconsciously, we humans collectively mourn the irretrievable loss of wilderness on our planet. And not only that; we mourn mass extinctions, loss of habitat, loss of bio-diversity, the effects of global warming. We need wilderness, both actual and metaphorical, in order to be humbled, to know our frailty, and face our mortality.
Melancholy billows up out of the silence as we acknowledge this moment. Time hangs in the air, like a ball reaching the top of an arc, and then disappears into the past.