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Gayle Fraas and Duncan W. Slade
Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Black Acrylic Ink on Stonehenge white 250 gr.
These works began in the studio as simple expressions with brush and ink.
Not studied observations, they started as remembered views and evolved into constructs of landscape images adjacent to draped and wavy illusions of dots.
In these compositions we border, embellish and layer the visual plane where the parts combine to design meaning for the whole.
Piano Roll Project: Shared Sensibilities - organized by artists Gail Skudera and Kristin Malin, opened in the cavernous Bates Mill Complex, Lewiston, Maine in July 2015.
30 artists were sent a player piano roll to alter. When ours arrived in the mail, we pondered the possibilties of what to do with 30 feet of paper. The question was answered by what was crowding our studio walls....narrow horizontal and vertical ink on paper compositions.
"A Walk between Two Moons" was conceived as a 'walk' from one full moon to the next. July 2015, the month of the exhibit opening was a month with two full moons, one on July 2 and the other on the 31st,
a "once in a blue moon."
Utilizing many of the images from the ink on paper series, strategies emerged that let our view flow from one image to the next, taking us out our back door, to the back side of Monhegan to trails at Acadia, etc., a walk not bound by time and space. The constant throughout is the height of the horizon. The repeated screen prints of the dot pattern switch from black on white to white on black. In this context, the pattern sections punctuate and set a rhythm for the landscapes' melody in this extremely long composition.
"A Walk Between Two Moons"
vintage player piano roll, 11.5 x 30 feet, black ink, screen printing ink
Elements of this project have been with us a long time, but Traverse follows as a natural response to the Piano Roll.
Textile structure and surface is a constant in our visual language, having been explored as material, subject and metaphor for 40 years.
To translate the images from ink on paper to dye on silk and to emulate the spontaneous way of working on paper, we chose a wet on wet process requiring new dye formulation and application testing. In this process the mark of the hand dissolves on the wet surface.
The structure of Traverse lets the individual vertical panels be seen in context with other panels for a fleeting glimpse or steady gaze. The dot pattern competes, confuses and completes the view. In a light breeze, panels ripple and pivot and a new view appears. Stop to focus on a detail....turn back...what you were looking at is gone...find the path and move on...a Traverse through the woods.