Again and Again
A single stitch, a lone snip of paper, a solitary pencil stroke, again and again and again. Through repetition these simple markings give the mind something to hold onto, a place to focus that allows it to let go, to relax, to transcend. The six artists of Again and Again, Anna Hendrick Karpatkin Benjamin, Lucas Kelly, Bridget Purcell, Rachel Blythe Udell, Nhi Vo, and Injoo Whang all utilize repetition in their work which is not only deeply meaningful to them, but also results in work that is quietly awe inspiring for the viewer.
Believe and believe and believe
Anna Hendrick Karpatkin Benjamin, Nhi Vo, and Injoo Whang all revel in an almost faith-like ritual of making. Benjamin’s early inspiration from her religious faith has led her to abstract both the iconographies she grew up with as well as the practice of worship until all that remains is color, form, and surrender to a higher power of making. She, a mere mortal, produces the lines- but she cannot control the color that forms when they overlap. Likening her practice to meditation, Nhi Vo repeatedly, laboriously writes words at a mind-numbingly small scale. Her inscriptions in their sheer vastness, blur into each other, creating quiet, delicate patterns. There is purpose in the tediousness; perhaps with enough duplication, the word, or what it represents to her, can finally sink into her being and radiate back outwards. Injoo Whang’s works also employ multiples of the same forms, but in the many, slight differences start to emerge. The individualism of her tiles or blocks of marks, are only detectable because of the mass of the whole - the one could not be seen if not for the thousands.
Remember and remember and remember
Rachel Blythe Udell, Lucas Kelly, and Bridget A. Purcell use repetition as a form of memorialization. Rachel Blythe Udell seeks out a connection to past individuals by using salvaged lace and fibers. Originally made by strangers, Udell builds onto these substraits with her own processes. It is a one-way conversation into the ether, calling out to the past, to memories that aren’t hers. Through abstraction, Lucas Kelly creates work that becomes a visual representation of memories and their fragilities. By painting ambiguous color block forms over and over he strives to imbue his work with triggers of memory that can become less personal and more universal. Bridget A. Purcell captures fragments of memories- of familiar, everyday objects- plates, bowls, even entire rooms and in their mass these objects push and pull at the very foundation of how memory works- shimmering in its fragile instability.