THE GIFT OF ILLUMINATION

10 WEAD MEMBERS

A curated portfolio of 10 WEAD members whose work illuminates eco/social systems. From far corners of the world, they reach out with thoughtful strategies for moving toward brighter times. Together we can accomplish a lot.

 

ARTIST No. 1
FERESHTA ALAMSHAH

Site Title

DREAM PARI by Iranian artist Fereshta Alamshah

Plastic is a pollutant that devastates and destroys the earth and damages the lives of people for generations. In my performances I think of captive animals within polluted waters, the earth which has been surrounded by heat, the slow growth of nature, the sense of inability and lack of freedom. - Fereshta Alamsha

ARTIST No. 2 
KAREN HACKENBERG

WATERSHED SERIES by Karen Hackenberg 

In my ongoing painting series, Watershed, I take a light-hearted yet subversive approach to the serious subject of ocean degradation, presenting a tongue-in-cheek taxonomy of our new post-consumer creatures of the sea. Influenced by the ideas of Pop artists Claes Oldenburg, Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol, and the high-contrast light of Edward Hopper, I meticulously paint seascapes in oil and gouache, lovingly crafting beautiful images of conventionally ugly beach cast-offs, and aiming to create provocative visual juxtapositions of form and idea.

The Watershed paintings are inspired by the incongruity of the man-made detritus found washed up on the otherwise pristine shores near my Discovery Bay WA studio; the plastic shards and PETE water bottles, plastic bags, the mismatched running shoes, the foggy plastic water bottles, the throw-away lighters, the frayed lengths of nylon rope, the spent shotgun shells, to name but a few. I collect this local flotsam as it bobs in on the waves from far and near, and with my ear to the sand for a close view, I pose and photograph it on the beach where it strands. The resulting seascape compositions depict the beach trash as monolithic, thereby providing a visual metaphor for the overwhelming magnitude of the issue of marine debris. - Karen Hackenberg

ARTIST No. 3
LISA CORINE VON KOCH

THE POLLINATRIX by Lisa Corine von Koch

In this performance work, as The Pollinatrix, Lisa Corine von Koch heroically takes on the task of manually pollinating a field of gourds. With the bee colonies dying out worldwide, humans must recognize that we are not in a Post-Nature era, and we are still dependent on the earth, and all of it's inhabitants. The causes of Colony Collapse Disorder are many, but all potential causes are evidence of human's mismanagement of nature. - Lisa Corine von Koch

THE POLLINATRIX PERFORMANCE: https://vimeo.com/39303819
Cinematography: Arius Elvikis
Assistant: Jim Sulak Jr.
Music/Sound: Zac Zetterberg
Edited by: Lisa Corine von Koch
Special thanks to Farmer Frank of Crooked Sky Farms, AZ.

 

ARTIST No. 4 
DOMINIQUE DOMINGUEZ

POLITICAL POSTERS by Dominique Dominguez 

I make political posters. My hand silkscreen printed art pieces reflect social and environmental issues throughout my community and nationwide. Being an Oakland native I find inspiration in the varying radical poster makers in the bay area, from the Black Panther movement, to my neighboring Chicano communities and now freedom fighting citizens in the Occupy rebellion. I exercise my activism through the creation of these posters to be geared towards wheat pasting them on the streets. I aim to identify with an issue, educate myself on its matter, and convincingly proclaim my exploration to inform the masses. I hope to influence individuals to want to look further into these correlating issues and feel inspired to take charge in their own responsive activism.

My past collaborative posters have included large-scale images of costly prison towers vs. depleted spending on education, a poster I call, “Education Not Incarceration.” It is a poster I donated to the William James Association to help raise funds for their diminishing arts program. - Dominique Dominguez

ARTIST No. 5 
NICOLE DEXTRAS

VIEWS by NICOLE DEXTRAS

Views consisted of text made out of ice during an art residency at the Artscape Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island. The largest project was the word VIEW which stood 6 feet high. Situated on the shores of Lake Ontario and adjacent to Toronto’s shoreline, the word reflected on the million dollar view sold by real-estate agents though the images in their brochures probably depict a sunny summer scene. Westerners enjoy a view of nature as long as it is at a safe distance. A series of smaller ice texts accompanied the project which related to the multiple perspectives of language, how one word can conjure up a plethora of definitions depending on the viewpoint of the reader. -Nicole Dextras

ARTIST No. 6 
HENNEKE ANDREAE

RISE by HENNEKE ANDREAE

An installation where the audience is invited to lie on a comfortable bed made of birds’ nesting materials while a herbal and tree sap scent envelopes them. On the ceiling a video presents the slowed-down rise of garden birds, lasting 18.49 minutes. A sound piece stimulates intimacy through the fluttering, pecking and singing of birds, while a bell chimes in order to awaken, as it announces time passing. - Henneke Andreae

ARTIST No. 7
PERDITA PHILLIPS

PERDITA PHILLIPS 

Perdita Phillips is an Australian environmental artist working across mixed media installation, walking, sound, site-specific environmental projects, performance, sculpture and photography. Her projects all have an underlying thread connecting them to the questions of how to engage with aspects of nature — and transform the relationship between humans and nonhumans.

Phillips’ works reflect an ongoing investigation into ecosystemic thinking. She have investigated land degradation to create installations (1991), written an encyclopaedia about termites (2000), created the 53rd Annual “Where is the Best Salmon Gum?” Competition for the Shires of Kellerberrin and Tammin (2001), sound recorded conversations with geologists and made work with bowerbirds (2007-2008). Recently Phillips has become increasing concerned with how to represent complexity in the environment and encourage the viewer to walk away more confident about facing climatic uncertainties.

ARTIST No. 8
GYONGY LAKY

Ghosting Along, Gyongy Laky.

 

GYÖNGY LAKY

Through material choices and subject selection Laky's sculptural, linear constructions of wood, wire, screws, nails and occasional unexpected items, engage subjects of particular and on-going concern to her.  Her activism was encouraged early during studies in art and design at UC Berkeley.  As an environmentalist, her work often employs materials harvested from nature and agricultural sources with some recycled elements incorporated.  She is attracted to humble materials and simple, direct methods of hand construction that she associates with basic, grass roots, human ingenuity about making things.  Laky has been a strong advocate for the establishment of an environmental sustainability curriculum in design and art at UCD.  Other themes of her sculptures and site-specific works touch upon various issues including gender-equity and her opposition to the war in Iraq.  These subjects are often presented through her language sculptures.  For the final several years as a faculty member of UC Davis, Laky dedicated much of her time to increasing the numbers of women academics and to diversifying the ranks of tenure track faculty throughout the University of California statewide.  

ARTIST No. 9
LARISSA MARONGONI

LARISSA MARANGONI

Larissa Marangoni has been invited to Israel, Sweden, United States, Chile and Argentina in numerous art exhibitions, where she has won several awards and international recognition. So far, she has participated in over 60 group exhibitions and 24 solo exhibitions. There are over 80 articles in various books, magazines and newspapers about her work.

In 2006, she began working as Deputy Executive Director for the Association for the Welfare of the Ecuadorean Family ( APROFE ) www.aprofe.org.ec where she is responsible for the physical and operational reengineering of 11 health Centers and 1 maternity clinic. She has strengthened community development through the “Program “Franja arte-comunidad” www.soloconnaturaecuador.org with the creation of artistic residencies, encouraging a participatory methodology where artists and community members share their knowledge. The result is the creation of collective community processes where ancient wisdom and opportunities are recovered.

 

ARTIST No. 10

MIERLE LADERMAN UKELES

Maintenance Art, Queens Museum, Photo by Hai Zhang.

 

“Art is freedom expressed. I became an artist to be free: free to use the gifts given to me by my artist-heroes: Jackson Pollack who gave me the gift of the body active within the art-making process; Marcel Duchamp who gave me the gift of naming anew; Marc Rothko who gave me the gift of being able to move from one dimension into another. I worked for years to become a free artist. Then in 1968, we were blessed to have a child. We fell madly in love with her. I became a maintenance worker, not only to do the work necessary to keep her alive but to do the work to help her thrive! I learned that Jackson, Marcel and Marc didn’t change diapers; I fell out of their picture. Also, my Air Art inflatable works that were to be free-flying symbols of freedom, leaked! I fell into a crisis. I didn’t want to be two separate people--the maintenance worker and the free artist—living in one body. In October, 1969, an epiphany! If I am the boss of my boundless freedom, then I call necessity art.

I name Maintenance – Art. Why? Because I say so. In a quiet rage, in one sitting, I wrote the MANIFESTO FOR MAINTENANCE ART, 1969! From the beginning, I name three levels of Maintenance as Art: Personal; Society/the City; the Planet. With limited resources from our finite planet, how do we do this? How do we survive? I got new eyes. I looked out in this new world and saw that most people were working to get along, to survive. They had to. At that time, there was no language, no culture, no recognition, and very little honor for service work and service workers: those at home and those who work outside. These were not in the picture. So I set out to make this visible, i.e. to make a revolution with everyone in the picture. After making maintenance art myself and with one or two workers, then 300 maintenance workers, I got a call from the Sanitation Department: “How would you like to make art with 10,000 NYC sanitation workers?” “I’ll be right over,” I said. I entered maintenance heaven at the time of the maintenance hell of the NYC fiscal crisis of the 1970’s: the housekeepers of the city-as-home. I have been very lucky to have officials and workers and the art world willing to open all the doors, to take a risk and say “Yes. Yes!” Welcome to the results.”

 

-Mierle Laderman Ukeles

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