"The evening and the the evening out"
June 15th - July 9th
Opening Reception- Thursday June 15th 6-9PM
Artist Reception- Saturday June 24th 6-9PM
This work came about at a time when I needed it, or rather, it arrived because I needed it.
On December 3rd, just days after the 2016 election results came in, I gave myself the challenge to make a new work of collage every day for 100 days. Those 100 days formed a ritual of creating, as I participated in the daily meditation of making collage and then posting the new pieces each night on Instagram. The internet allowed for a community to engage with the work immediately and for the viewers and me to grieve and question together.
Using the photographic image as source material, the work brings with it some semblance of reality or at the very least, a perception that what is depicted did in fact actually happened. Making the work became a form of time travel as I worked on these pieces in the present, re-contextualizing photos from the past, to be viewed in the future. And when I ran out of material about 30 days in and began seeking magazines from my neighbors, friends, and family, I found that much of collage is about using what you have been given and making the most of what you've got. And with each cut, each irreversible cut, I learned to trust my actions and my choices, constantly working to stay in the moment. As I responded to the physical cuts and tears I made I was also internally processing the cuts and tears happening politically. I strived to see my source material better, to look within the photos that had been captured by someone else, years prior and see them for what they were and what they could become. I then sought to transfer that act of empathy to the events transpiring around me.
Those 100 days in my studio kept me moving forward. They kept me from allowing shock, sadness, anger, fear or confusion to trap me in a standstill. I now had something to do. I was giving voice to my thoughts and emotions and in a way, to the voices of others. I was processing the material that had been given to me. And I am still processing.
Serrah Russell has lived in Washington state for as long as she can remember where she continues to make her home and work . She holds a BFA in Photography from the University of Washington. Her practice is a constant exploration of the photographic image and its ability to evoke memory, emotion and association. Using instant film, digital photography and pre-existing photographic material, Russell creates works of collage, sculpture and video that alter the original intention of the source material. Her work explores ideas of loss, empathy, ways of seeing, and the emotions found between subject and surrounding. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the Pacific Northwest, as well as in Vancouver, British Columbia; Melbourne, Australia; London, England; Athens, Greece; and New York, NY.