Somewhere around the beginning of 2005, perhaps January, I received a late night voicemail from an old professor, telling me frantically to call some people in Rhode Island about an opportunity for me to go to Pont Aven and study my art. It was a 15 week fellowship to the Pont Aven School of Art, and the first night after landing, right after the group dinner, I went to work in the studio. To say I was energized is perhaps the least one could say. I made a lot of sketches that continue to inform my practice. Here is one of them below, a small computer drawing proposal for the north facing wall of the school building. Just one of hundreds I made in preparation for the more resolved installation, No Door, which I talk about after the image below.
The school had just recently renovated an old building to accommodate their new Post-Bac program and of the 6 students and 3 professors, we were quite spoiled to have so much space. I immediately became enamored with an old doorway that had been blocked off. As I was honing my conceptual focus on the dialog between absence and presence, light and shadow, this doorway was gold. In Boston at my final year at MassArt I had been exposed to Robert Irwin, James Turrell, and Doug Wheeler, artists who were associated with the Light & Space movement. Their worked energized and inspired me. When I got to Pont Aven, I wanted to push myself to discover more about the specificity of site, light, and shadow.
The images below are of the finished installation that I installed with tape, dirt, fabric, and water. Yes, I cleaned some areas and dusted other areas to further manipulate light and shadow. I had fun.
I actually arrived from Boston to Pont Aven with most of the tape I used, I was beyond thrilled when I received the fellowship and when I left Boston, not only did I liquidate my studio in Boston, I wasn’t sure if I’d return, I felt it in my bones that Pont Aven held something for me. It did. I am eternally thankful to all those who helped me make that first leap, Pont Aven was a watershed moment for me and has echoed in everything I’ve done since.