Hand drawn rocks by Hilary Lorenz
On October 1 I begin installing a new artwork at 99 Plymouth Street in Brooklyn Bridge Park across the street from Smack Mellon. Commissioned by the park in early spring I have been drawing, carving and printing birds that inhabit the park. This past month I began work on their habitat, first with the rocks that surround the marsh then I will make the grass. The piece will be big, there is a 12 and 24 foot wall in one area, and a second 20 foot and 12 foot wall in anther. I always get nervous that I do not have enough printed and cut paper, but I should also know that by now I always do.
I planned my schedule carefully for this piece. I spent March through July carving the linoleum block birds. In August I made multiple drawings. And the plan for September was to spend 30 days printing my heart out on my big, 33″ x 72″ press at LIU Brooklyn where I am a tenured professor. All went well until September 1. Dr. Kimberly Kline, president of LIU locked out faculty during contract negotiations. I had 48 hours to get my blocks, paper, ink and completed artworks out of my LIU studio. I managed to do that along with a small press. My bike, flat files and 20 years of artwork are still there and I cannot access them. Yes, the lockout is horrible and I technically went from a full tenured professor to unemployed and uninsured in about 48 hours. But as they say, “opportunity comes from adversity” and it is true. A friend offered me space in his studio, another friend use of his press. And while his press is smaller than some of my blocks I can do a great deal of work. Instead of printing some of the large piece I will hand draw them them onsite. This is certainly offering me the opportunity of new ways of creating my artwork. It is also showing me that no matter what happens with these negotiations, I will be just fine, but I worry deeply about my students. I have to pass through a whole lot of anxiety, fear and anger to get to the other side and it is not pretty. But working from home and at least making drawings, and txting with my students, everything feels right.
Linoleum block hand colored Seagulls by Hilary Lorenz for BBP.
After 5 long days the installation at Resnick Gallery at LIU Brooklyn is up. But this is only a teaser, no photos. I was too exhausted and in fact I slept 13 hours last night! Here is the description of the show, Monday you get photos:
LISTENING TO THE FOREST
Linoleum Block Printed and Cut Paper Installation
Hilary Lorenz translates the physical and visceral experience of hiking remote landscapes into visual imagery that takes the form of prints, drawings and enveloping installations. Grounded in traditions of performance walking, Lorenz’s artwork is shaped by the space she passes through during long-distance runs and mountain climbing. Her drawings and prints function as visual mapping specific to each location: abstract, intuitive time-lines that mark a spatial journey of memory and change. As the artist describes, “When I am carving a linoleum block I relive each step that I walked or ran through a single knife-cut.” Even the act of operating a manual printing press supports her strong passion for simple physical repetition.
For the Resnick Gallery, Lorenz continues to build on her previous artwork most recently shown at Wave Hill Public Gardens and Culture Center (2014) and The Lake George Art Projects (21015).
Lorenz begins each artwork with a hike or trail run through the mountains. She has explored Adirondack State Park’s numerous trails along with the mountains of New Mexico, Colorado, California, Australia, and Cameroon, Africa. Lorenz takes these wildlife explorations and turns them into room-size environment consisting of linoleum block-printed and cut paper that is collaged and layered to form mountain, animals and camp sites. Because the work documents her experiences, the artist is careful to portray only the mountains that she has hiked or climbed. The ink drawn animals serves as a record of Lorenz’s treks and simultaneously evokes a wilderness fantasy with bears, coyotes rabbits and moose. In this way, the artist attempts to represent a longing for solitude, quietness and rural moments in the big, bustling city.