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Not Now But Soon: A Book Arts Thesis Exhibition

April 18, 2016 - April 29, 2016

Reception: Wednesday, April 20th, 5–8pm

Zeitgeist Gallery & Studios
222 Cabot Street
Beverly, MA

Gallery Hours
Tues, Thu, Fri, 11am–4pm
or by appointment
contact: [email protected]

Montserrat College of Art and Zeitgeist Gallery are proud to present Not Now But Soon, featuring recent work from Joyce Tat and Alanna Urie, two graduating seniors from Montserrat’s Book Arts concentration.

The work on view explores relationships between form and content while challenging notions of what could be considered a time-based medium. Throughout the exhibition, themes of identity, social influences, and domesticity emerge from repetitive and time consuming-processes.

The work contends with the idea of finish; presenting ongoing projects acknowledges  that a resolution of the artists’ experiences may never be achieved. What becomes important is a commitment to perseverance — to continue accumulating written text from each present moment, or hand-stitching a quilt that is unable to fully counteract the past.

Drawing on a background in sculpture, papermaking, and zine production, Joyce Tat explores an upbringing between a Chinese family and American culture. Working on vellum, wooden panels, and household objects, Chinese characters learned as a child and English phrases pulled from intrusive thoughts and overheard conversations are overlaid in watercolor and acrylic paint. The collected phrases become an abstract composition of repetitive marks, visually processing chaotic themes that are only partially legible: the destabilization of intimate relationships, racial and gender dysphoria, and a dissatisfaction with social attitudes. Each piece, in its creation and the outcome, is an attempt to make sense of the present.

Using meticulous domestic crafts such as embroidery and quilting, Alanna Urie addresses  a need for order that is simultaneously fueled by and in opposition to the lasting mental effects of trauma. Traditional materials recall cultural notions of “the home” — a space that holds complex associations with both safety and violence. The laborious and time-consuming nature of these crafts parallel the psychological task of dealing with trauma; the resulting object serves as a record of personal experiences and a means of imagining a new relationship with the space in which those experiences took place.

As Tat and Urie confront a variety of lived experiences, both artists ask themselves: Where do I go from here?