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Sound of Wind and Grass: John Hagen, Kristin Link and Michael Walsh, Exhibit, October 2021

To protect the most vulnerable among us, we require visitors to wear masks indoors and we are limited 50% capacity for events (30 people total indoors, masked) with overflow on porch.

Exhibit Opens (In-person): Friday, October 1st, 5-7pm | 6pm Artist Talk

Virtual Artist Talks will be available on Facebook and our YouTube channel.

Alaska artists explore the intersection of environmental observation and nostalgia in a group show, “Sound of Wind and Grass,” featuring photographs by John Hagen, cyanotype, drawing and collage by Kristin Link and video audio art by Michael Walsh.

John Hagen Statement

I went to Ugashik, Alaska to look for what my ancestors left behind. They were wiped out by the Spanish Flu in 1918. I expected to find ghosts. I didn’t expect to experience a pandemic while I was artistically exploring the multigenerational impacts of a pandemic. I suspect the feelings of loneliness I felt were what my Unangan ancestors experienced as a pandemic raged in the world around them. I felt the fear and suspicion that they likely felt as they wondered if neighbors and newcomers were bringing plague to the village. Bristol Bay is a tough part of the world. The land is actively trying to erase all traces of your existence while you are still there. The grass grows quick to cover anything left sitting. Metal rusts, wood rots, buildings collapse and boats sink. The sod barabaras my ancestors once lived in are distant memories. I knew I wouldn’t find direct evidence of my ancestors, though someone once told me if you can still find glass beads in the dirt where they once lived. In the end, the only thing that was left was the sound of the wind and the grass.

Kristin Link Statement

Solastalgia (noun) is a word created by Glen Albrecht in 2003 from the Latin word solacium (comfort) and the Ancient Greek work algia (pain). It is derived from nostalgia and means the homesickness one gets when still at home, but the environment has been altered and feels unfamiliar.

This project began taking shape during the summers I worked as a glacier guide, taking tourists for day hikes on the Root Glacier. Over the years I recognized certain features as friends and to noticed the incredible change as the glaciers I came to know melted. This collection explores these glaciers as well as their watersheds in Alaska through cyanotype, drawing, and collage. Cyanotype is an alternative photographic process that uses ultraviolet light to expose an image and create a blueprint. Using drawings as negatives, I create something that is part photo and part drawing, to capture a moment of beauty within these water and icescapes which are changing so quickly. Through layering drawing, photo, and collage, the work explores multiple ways we can come to understand and remember these dynamic worlds. I strive to find the beauty in the change and the memories of the landscapes I have been able to experience.

Michael Walsh Artist Statement
Our capacity for  hearing and seeing is limited to what is near and close, so how do we quantify our relationship with the natural world when even in the most remote corners of South Central Alaska human-created sounds are inescapable and the true vastness of this firmament that holds us is only visible to the sky above? The Sky Looks Back is intended to be a humble reminder of our existence in this immensely beautiful landscape.” — Michael Walsh
Bio: Curator, archivist, arts administrator, and studio artist, Michael Walsh has worked in moving image art since the early1990’s. He has curated programs for San Francisco museums and micro-cinemas, Korean galleries, Milwaukee’s urban meadows, and shipyards, Alaskan galleries, airplane hangars, bunkers, and on mountain tops. Walsh champions the traditions of thought-provoking anti-establishment practices and cherishes combining 21st-century moving image practices and philosophies with early experimental film practices. Walsh is currently Assistant Curator/Archivist for the Moving Image dept at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis MN.
The Sky Looks Back
by Michael Walsh
9.5 min lopped, 2021, color, sound, .mov
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