Last year I participated in the development and production of a symposium at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies to initiate a conversation on the relationship of art making and Buddhist practice: Dharma Practice/Art Practice: Perception, Creativity and Transformation. Thirty-six artists and scholars from various disciplines and traditions gathered last spring to explore historical and textual contexts, creativity, and ethics. Panelists included Stephen Batchelor, Ruth Ozeki, Roshi Pat O’Hara, David McMahan, William Edelglass, Gay Watson, Mirka Knaster, Julie Puttgen and myself. By the end of the symposium one of my sculptures shared the altar with the Buddha, an embodiment of the conversation.
188 Art Gallery in Shanghai is showing my work in two exhibitions in other cities in China: Six Americans in Qingdao, Shandong province, and in West on the Left, East on the Right in Jiuchuan City Museum, Gansu province, September, 2016.
The gallery generously provided a tour of Gansu Province in NW China for participating Chinese and American artists, visiting Lanzhou, Jiuchuan, Great Wall, Shule River, Qilian Mountain, Magao Caves at Dunhuang on the Silk Road, and the International Cultural Expo in Dunhuang. We made art together at several sites in the landscape and in the board rooms of farms we visited.
I exhibited Absent Mirror in an exhibition, Left on the West East on the Right, at 188 Art Gallery, Shanghai, China, and participated in a cultural exchange of American and Chinese artists and curators in a tour of highlights in and around Shanghai, Nov 5-17, 2015.
My site-specific installation, Cistern, was up through October 12, 2015, when Chesterwood closed for the winter. Cistern has constantly changed since it was installed last May in the cistern French built on his property in 1902 to provide water to his house. The sun, moving on its daily round, cast shifting patterns on the old concrete walls and the stainless steel disk on the cistern floor. The lowering arc of the sun altered the angle it penetrated the cistern. Branches, twigs and leaves caught in the netting, and the mirrored surface of the steel became clouded with pollen, dust, leaves and twigs. These changes reflect the way water is affected by the passage of time and incursions from the surrounding environment, including human use. Cistern pays homage to the seemingly endless capacity of water to absorb our waste and our sorrows.
This immersive, four-channel sculptural video and sound installation was made in collaboration with moving image artist, Sarah Bliss.
Boston Sculptors Gallery, June 10 – July 19, 2015
486 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118
Blindsight: the installation
Wild, raw, mysterious and sensual, Blindsight revels in the deep, unconscious dimensions of our lives. Reimagining the Daedalus-Icarus myth, it looks fearlessly at time and the aging body; eros; the embodied nature of perception; and the mutability of matter. Blindsight’s open, maze-like structure, inspired by Daedalus’ labyrinth, is made of translucent and reflective materials that multiply contexts and viewpoints and receive multiple video projections. Visitors journey through a liminal underworld that unfolds as ritual or dream-time: simultaneous, multiple and fragmented. They are swept into the very center of a highly charged drama in which the cast of nine enacts the sensual and sacred dance between spirit and the material form in which it is bound. Blindsight explores mythic consciousness, inner experience and dream realities in the depths of the underworld.
Blindsight: a review
“A dreamlike Blindsight
Visiting sculptor Rosalyn Driscoll and filmmaker Sarah Bliss’s ambitious, lyrical installation, Blindsight, at Boston Sculptors Gallery is like walking into a dream. Bliss’s four-channel video plays over fabric, paper, and rawhide screens that Driscoll has installed throughout a darkened room. Images beam onto and through them; they wrinkle and smear along with the rawhide.
Bliss’s images of rushing rain and ice on branches frame the central narrative, an unspoken, choreographed exchange among a handful of actors, often with water pouring down on them. Moody and beautiful, their movements drift into nearly erotic encounters and into conflict; often, they feel akin to ritual. Indeed, Driscoll’s environment, dark with filmic windows of light, feels like a sacred space, a labyrinth through which we yet can see.”
Review by Cate McQuaid in the Boston Globe, June 30, 2015
The term “blindsight” refers to the condition of people who are injured in their visual cortex but still able to respond to visual stimuli they are not conscious of seeing—thus becoming a metaphor for what we know unconsciously, and suggesting non-visual modes of perception: touch, hearing, smell, somatic sensing, and spatial awareness. Bodily responses are activated by the intense, intimate interactions of the filmic characters, as well as by haptic film techniques, sensuous screening materials, and the complex spatiality of the installation. Projections appear and disappear throughout the gallery, echoing the way neuronal pathways light up different regions of the brain. The installation frames cognition and experience as embedded, enactive, extended and embodied.
The sound for Blindsight, stultifera navis (The Ship of Fools), is a composition by Scottish sound artist James Wyness, made in Scottish ponds, Iberian geophonies, mountaintop chapels and transmission masts, with ambience and details of metal factory machine tools, hand bells, and metal drinking vessels. Wyness explores the interpenetration of human and natural environments, as does Blindsight.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council asked us to write a post describing our process for their ArtSake blog, which can be read here: http://artsake.massculturalcouncil.org/blog/artsake/index.php/2015/07/02/three-stages-sarah-bliss-and-rosalyn-driscoll/
This site-specific sculpture on the grounds of Chesterwood, the summer home and studio of Daniel Chester French, American sculptor of public monuments, is part of a temporary summer exhibition, Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood.
The piece invests new life into an old, abandoned cistern along the woodland trail on the property. Built of concrete in 1902, it held water pumped up from a spring near the river and then gravity-fed down to the house. My installation of a stainless steel disk at the bottom of the cistern, a copper ring along the rim, plastic netting over the opening, and glass drops hanging from the netting, reflects the nature of water and the passage of time.
Exhibition on view to the public: Saturday, May 23 – Monday, October 12, 2015
Chesterwood, 4 Williamsville Road Stockbridge, MA 01262 Chesterwood.org
South Shore Art Center, February 20-April 4, 2015
119 Ripley Road, Cohasset, MA 02025
Forever & After is the exploration of the ubiquitous and prophetic themes of loss, commemoration, and belief in spirit with its uncertain evolution or transcendence, through the medium of contemporary sculpture.
Moving Water: An art participation project by Sensory Sites
October Gallery, London, UK, June 19-21, 2014
Water is elusive, invisible and protean. Moving Water is a participatory event that offers a bodily, sensory experience of this precious element. Sculptural vessels containing water and giving it shape are made of sensuous materials such as glass, metal, rawhide and ceramic or found-objects such as shell and bone.Participants explore the vessels and the water in them, moving at will around a room filled with sound and light. An intimate, playful exchange emerges in this collective act of attention and empathy that reveals how our bodies are also vessels of water.Water leaks, spills and pours in an unfolding poetic narrative about water qualities, ubiquity, use, and loss. www.artintouch.co.uk
The event on June 19 is a private view for Rethinking the Senses, an AHRC-funded project of Centre for the Study of the Senses, which brings together neuroscientists, psychologists and philosophers to investigate multisensory perception in everyday experiences: www.thesenses.ac.uk.
This project is supported by Encounter Fine Arts http://www.encountercontemporary.com/ Press release:
Boston Sculptors Gallery, Boston, MA
June 25-August 3, 2014
Opening reception June 26, 6-8 PM
Gallery Kayafas, Boston, MA
June 6-July 12, 2014
An exhibition of six German and six American women artists showcases sculptures in which materials are metamorphic and integral to the meaning of the work. Organized by independent curator, Anette Schwarz. An exhibition of smaller works by the same artists is also showing at Gallery Kayafas, Boston, June 6-July 12, 2014
Ovid’s Girls was exhibited in another version in two concurrent exhibitions at Kunstverein Tiergarten and Galerie Wichtendahl in Berlin, Germany, April 4-May 3, 2014 and will travel to MEWO Kunsthalle in Memmingen, Germany, Sept-October, 2014