The environment is the invitation to create. Presences and absences are felt simultaneously, and an object’s past and future journeys are essential to its present iteration. Central to this exploration is a personal response to environment, location, and light. Often working in series, the aesthetic changes according to the environment.
Cara Bonewitz (b. 1986) earned her BA at Yale University and her MFA at Glasgow School of Art
Artist Talk with Cara Bonewitz, Thursday, Aug 1. 6:30pm at Chiron-House
An Artist-Curator’s Thoughts:
“When I see the “Seaweavings” I am taken to a place. A place that has smells and memories. Feelings of immersion in water, mystery and expansiveness. Everyone has a relationship to seaweed if they’ve been in the ocean. I recall a kayaking trip in Anacortes when I was participating in “What the Heck Fest”. The kayak instructor said, “Go ahead and put your arm in the water and eat some seaweed.” I remember being on a beach walk on my birthday, alone where baby deer were meandering with its parents. I reached down and ate some of the magenta-colored seaweed on the ground recalling an episode of NOMA restaurant foraging at the beach. It was kinda curly and salty, like friseé salad…
I can feel it tangling in my toes when I swim in the ocean. I’m treading water and kinda afraid of getting entangled. I can see it from the bottom of the ocean looking upward through the eyes of a documentary film. The plants swaying and growing for miles. I remember making a cyanotype with seaweed. I went to collect it at the beach but by the time I got it back to my studio, it had dried out. So, I returned with an ice chest. I stashed the seaweed in it with some ocean water and some of the gnats came home with me, too. I made a wreath from it and gave it to a friend. It hangs on his fridge. The cyanotype’s blue keeps the seaweed in the “water”, its still floats there faintly bulbs and all.
I am grateful to also include the seaweed works and photographs in the exhibition “COMMUNITY / HUMANITY” because it ties Ilka Hartmann’s photographs to a place. A place that is special, surrounded by water. People have kind of become obsessed with visiting the artist there, but to me, it’s not about that place over another. It’s about the places we all cherish, that we all want to save, and celebrate and bring our lovers, our friends and families. Most of all the ocean is my place alone to cast out my heaviness and see the world, the earth in all its forgiving beauty. “COMMUNITY / HUMANITY” isn’t a place but it’s all places. It’s that grateful mentality of being in the present moment, thankful for the abundance and protecting it. Honoring our neighbors. Being neighborly with everyone and everything from seals, to children to strangers and those who need extra support.” This seaweed is a gift, an intention that I love that bestows attention to something we are familiar with perhaps cast aside like the “weed of the sea.” “Seaweavings” make it unfamiliar and causes us to look closely at it, perhaps cherish it.
And they look so wonderful floating through space… come take another look in person this Thursday. A sculpture really forces you to walk around it, and with these, you can get under it like a canopy, witness it from a humble seat on the floor after a tiring hot day, and they are there to marvel and ponder. As are the photographs of seaweed which look like paintings and abstract x-rays of colors and forms. Art, through the eyes of Cara Bonewitz is so considered and ethereal at once.