Visiting Artists Exhibition: Meredith Setser and Jennie Suddick
Each year, Open Studio selects four professional artists with or without printmaking experience to create works in the print medium of their choice, working collaboratively with a print media artist. These exhibitions by Setser and Suddick are the result of this intensive work period.
Meredith Setser is a printmaker and textile artist and assistant professor of printmaking at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis. Germinal Rhizome is inspired by the inherent conflicts that exist between different systems of organization and development, especially those derived from nature. The motifs printed onto the surface of felts handmade by the artist include agricultural patterns, crop circles, and labyrinths, and represent the human tendency to organize and control our environments. For the exhibition, Setser will grow live, sprouting plants on the felts in order to provide a contrast to the rigidity of the applied prints, functioning as connecting linear elements between the printed motifs, and also serving as agents of chaotic disruption. As they grow, the seedlings create new imagery while they interact with and erode the printed motifs. The title of the exhibition, Germinal Rhizome, refers to the botanical term “rhizome” in which a main stem, typically horizontal, sends out roots and shoots from nodes, as with ginger. Philosophers Deleuze and Guattari use the term to describe principles of connection and heterogeneity—points connected to other points in a heterogeneous whole, with no clear beginning or end. A text by Katy McDevitt accompanies the exhibition.
Jennie Suddick is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work has been exhibited in Canada, the US, Germany and Italy. Her work—created in print, photography and sculpture—deals with issues of Canadian identity, cryptozoology, museological display and hyper reality. TRAP blends the pseudo-scientific subculture of cryptozoology (the study of or search for animals whose existence has not been proven) with the subculture of matchstick model making. Suddick examines how this obsessive craft is akin to the desires associated with the hunt for cryptids like Bigfoot, both allowing individuals to feel like they can discover the implausible. Having originated as a way for 18th century naval prisoners to pass time, matchstick models have become a widespread hobby, and have come to signify obsessions and fantasies—a way to allow the builder to obtain the unobtainable. Interested in cryptozoology’s illustration of the human desire to believe there is still more to the natural world to explore and conquer, TRAP features a complete matchstick model-making kit based on a Bigfoot trap built in Siskiyou National Forest (Jackson County, OR) in 1974. Now a non-functional, little-known tourist attraction, this “non-monument” symbolizes the desire to find proof of new possibilities in everyday life. A text by Rose Bouthillier accompanies the exhibition.