SAGAS oN THIN ICE

Curated by Ombretta Agró Andruff

Audrey Love Gallery

On-View:  November 17– January 21, 2018

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Featuring: Anna Líndal; Kjánska Collective; Rúrí; Bryndís H Snæbjörnsdóttir & Mark Wilson; Ósk Vihjálmsdóttir

Six Icelandic artists make their debut at the Bakehouse Arts Complex in a group exhibition opening November 17 at the Bakehouse Arts Complex.  Curated by Ombretta Agró Andruff, Sagas on Thin Ice features Icelandic artists and collectives who employ a broad range of media to comment, highlight and take an activist stance against those who threaten the stunning yet fragile Icelandic ecosystems, and document how climate change, often fueled by human actions driven by economic interests, is impacting the natural environment, with potentially disastrous consequences.  

Inspired by the topography of lakes and glaciers, as well as the impact of climate change and Iceland’s sustainability efforts, the exhibition showcases contemporary artists whose creations address the significant issues of our time. “In the wake of one of the worst Atlantic hurricane seasons on record, we are so pleased to offer a different context to the climate change dialogue to our audiences through this inspired work,” stated Bibi Baloyra, Bakehouse Executive Director.

Anna Líndal and Ósk Vihjálmsdóttir have explored Iceland’s and Greenland’s highlands and ice caps over the course of several years, often in collaboration with climate change scientists and experts, leading to a variety of projects exhibited at home and internationally.  The melting ice caps are the starting point of Rúrí’s Future Cartographies, maps created in collaboration with geographer Gunnlaugur M. Einarsson as the result of an investigation of predicted topologies of coastal regions around the world threatened to disappear due to sea level rise.  

Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir & Mark Wilson conduct their interdisciplinary and collaborative practice from bases in the north of England and Iceland. With a strong research grounding, their often socially-engaged projects explore contemporary relationships between human and non-human animals in the contexts of history, culture and the environment. They present here photographs from the nanoq: flat out and bluesome series and Matrix, three sculptures based on polar bear maternity dens.

Lastly the Kjánska Collective, operating from 2006 to 2009 in Iceland, presents The Ground-Breaking Tour 2008, a series of absurd performative acts conducted around the country addressing the rhetoric of corporate greed, masked as the ‘savior’ of the decaying countryside, and its potentially devastating impact on the environment, documented with the videos and photographs featured in the exhibition.

The exhibition opening reception is Thursday, November 17th. A private closing reception made possible in part by the Embassy of Iceland will feature a panel discussion with artists Anna Líndal and Steinunn Gunnlaugsdóttir from Kjánska Collective, as well as Jane Gilbert, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Miami.

Social Fabric(actions)

Curated by Ombretta Agró Andruff

Swenson Gallery

On-View:  November 17– December 30, 2017

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Saadia Khabab was born and raised in Doha, Qatar, yet Pakistani heritage has had a fundamental influence on her artistic practice. The patterns she used to create her designs pay homage to the incredibly rich and complex ‘truck’ art, a Pakistani tradition with an extraordinary history dating back to the days of the Raj.   Khabab makes these decorations her own, by printing them on cotton and silk, using pleating, draping and other manipulating techniques that allow her to enhance some of the colorful patterns, while hiding others.  The clean silhouette and neat cuts of her designs stand in contrast with the complexity of the printed patterns, creating a fascinating dialogue between folk art and haute-couture.

Miami-based Andrea Spiridonakos’ background as a professional ballerina has informed her passion for fashion. The intrinsic dynamism of her collections is a clear testament to her fascination and understanding of how the body moves and inhabits the space around it.  

Her creations become wearable sculptures, straddling the line between Fashion and Art; they play with the idea of revealing vs. concealing the woman’s body while developing a natural balance through asymmetry and irregularity.  The colors and hues featured in these designs are loosely inspired by abstract paintings by American artist Brian Rutenberg which Spiridonakos saw at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2016. The textiles used are one-of-a-kind individually dyed and felted by hand using a variety of felting techniques of raw wool fibers.

The two have been in conversation for over a year, a dialogue that led to the creation of the joint installation that welcomes the audience as they approach the gallery, merging the visions of these two gifted and unique creative talents.

 On Thursday, November 17th, the Bakehouse will host an opening cocktail reception from 7pm until 10pm, with a live performance by Andrea Spiridonakos and cellist Jason Calloway at 8pm. A conversation with the artists and Adrienne bon Haes will take place on November 28th at 6pm.