Congratulations 2021 Residents
We are excited to announce awarded residencies for the Rabbit Island 2021 Residency program. Four residencies have been awarded featuring a total of six artists. Each will live and work on Rabbit Island this summer pursuing research and work that aims to interrogate and expand the dialogue between culture and conservation. Each residency is supported by an unrestricted honoraria of $3,200 USD made possible by grant support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The awarded residents are:
Aly Ogasian & Claudia O’Steen
Lucía Hinojosa Gaxiola & Roosmarijn Pallandt
Along with the brief biographies and artist statements below, we are sharing the awarded proposals in full. We do so in the interest of transparency, archival intention, and to provide insight into the quality, critical nature, and ambition of the proposals we receive. However, the residency program acknowledges these proposals often transform in response to the residency. We look forward to sharing the residents’ works and experiences as they evolve, and are influenced by their time on the island and period of reflection after.
Since 2011 the Rabbit Island Residency program open calls have received over 2,100 applications. Since that time the program has supported 34 awarded residents and hosted over 80 collaborators. The experiences have resulted in artwork, writing, compositions, performances, and more that critically engage issues of conservation and natural spaces. As society continues to face these contemporary challenges we are excited to have Rabbit Island’s residents contribute to this ongoing dialogue.
The committee extends a sincere thank you to all the applicants. This year’s selection was the most difficult to date, given the unprecedented number of thoughtful proposals supported by exemplary work. While we regret not being able to offer more residency positions, it is an honor to be working with the following artists over the next year.
Read the complete details of the selection process
Rabbit Island 2021 Residency Selection Committee
Alice Pedroletti, 2018 resident
Duy Hoàng, 2018 resident
Luce Choules, 2016 resident
Patricia Buffa, Director of Digital Strategy for Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Rob Gorski, President of the Rabbit Island Foundation
Rabbit Island 2021 Residency Selection Coordinator
Andrew Ranville, Director of the Rabbit Island Foundation
Laura Moriarty is an artist from and currently located in New York’s Hudson River Valley. She makes process-driven works with pigmented beeswax whose forms, colors, textures and patterns result from processes similar to those that shape and reshape the earth. Her work has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions. In 2021, her solo exhibition, Resurfacing, was featured at the Hunterdon Art Museum in New Jersey.
Taking poetic license with geology, I compare the processes of the studio with processes of the earth, creating sculptural paintings and related works on paper that recall natural formations. Layers of color form the strata of a methodology in which the immediacy of the hand can translate a sense of deep time. Working and reworking molten, richly pigmented beeswax, I build each piece through a slow, simple yet strenuous physical engagement, which often becomes a metaphor for the ephemerality of life and civilization. As if dug from the center of the earth, my pieces often resemble scientific models or artifacts whose strata and embedded fragments reveal a history, just as the layers of the earth itself tell a story of climate shifts, planetary events and cataclysmic disruptions. In my work, each layer resurfaces the one below, creating successive tiers that vary in thickness and color, marking new eras, delineating ages, and trapping stories that are part of the time/space continuum.
My vision for the Rabbit Island Residency is to commune with nature in monastic solitude for three weeks. My daily practice will include exploring, collecting, and studying the rocks and minerals of the island, which will culminate in the creation of a series of nature dioramas.
Historically, the diorama is a model representing a scene with three-dimensional figures, either in miniature or as large-scale displays. In my Rabbit Island dioramas, rocks and stones will take the place of human figures - not as stand-ins, but as entities in their own right, turning notions of “life” and “matter” around. The Rabbit Island residency strikes me as an ideal environment for this project, which recalls my childhood experiences of a world populated by animate things, rather than passive objects. What is most important to me is to consider the essential vibrancy of matter, and in this sense it is a philosophical project. I want to think slowly and deeply about the idea that rocks are a vital force.
Aly Ogasian & Claudia O’Steen
Claudia O’Steen and Aly Ogasian are a collaborative artist duo based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Los Angeles, California, respectively. They have previously been awarded collaborative residencies at Hambidge Center for the Arts & Sciences, Rural Projects, The Wassaic Project, Montalvo Arts Center, The Arctic Circle, and NCCA Saint-Petersburg, and have exhibited both nationally and internationally at venues such as The Russian State Arctic and Antarctic Museum, apexart, Flux Factory, Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Ohio State University amongst others. Claudia received a BFA from Watkins College of Art Design & Film and an MFA in Digital + Media at Rhode Island School of Design. She is Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Winthrop University. Aly received a BFA from Queen’s University and a MFA in Digital + Media at Rhode Island School of Design. She is an Assistant Professor of Art and Design at Scripps College.
O’Steen and Ogasian work collaboratively to produce multimedia, research based installations. Their work incorporates sculptural elements, digital media, drawing, writing, and photography, and their studio practice takes a flexible, idea driven approach.
Their projects always involve fieldwork, and installations incorporate artifacts and “data” collected from the landscape itself, and are inspired by their immediate surroundings. Their work focuses on our relationship with a changing environment, and uses methodologies borrowed from citizen science to critique traditional notions of exploration and conquest.
They attempt to re-orient themselves in a contemporary world dominated by data and technology, where the romantic and adventurous spirit of discovery has been lost or forgotten. They are interested in the moments where science and technology give rise to the nebulous, the enigmatic, the mysterious – where the primary goal is to “make sense” rather than to objectively know.
Technology is inherently part of the process of exploring, allowing the artists to extend their bodies, senses, and thoughts across great distances whether deep within or far away. Within this context, wonder connects to an instance of “new knowing”, a re-encountering of familiar terrain.
Their work is performative, casting the artists in the role of explorer or knowledge seeker within scenarios that are at once deeply absurd and poetic. The glitches or errors that occur within the process are celebrated not only as deviations from the intended path, but as potential points of departure for the imagination.
Due to its size and depth, Lake Superior exists at a multitude of scales simultaneously, slow moving river, lake and ocean. Fluctuating water levels, monitored in real time across days, years and centuries contribute to our understanding of climate change and its impact on weather, ecosystems and coasts.
For Rabbit Island, we will develop a series of portable sculptures that will function as observational stations as well as repositories of information. These sculptures will be inspired by the NOAA monitoring systems used locally such as the Great Lakes Water Levels Monitoring Network.
Acknowledging that every detail matters, our systems will monitor minute changes that occur on the ground over the time span of the residency. We will poetically measure wind, waves, visibility, water-level and temperature, exploring both the possibilities and limitations afforded by perceptual observation. Our observations will be contextualized vis-a-vis large, ongoing collections of data via satellite imagery, scientific instrumentation, human memory and citizen science intended to help predict the future of the lake. The project will touch upon the lake as a “site of memory” by examining how winter conditions contribute to subsequent summers, while also engaging human memory by exploring indigenous observations of the landscape.
Avery Williamson is an artist and designer originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, currently living and working in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies. There she was awarded the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize for extraordinary undergraduate work. Williamson has since shown work in New York, Philadelphia, Nashville and Ann Arbor. Her work has been featured by the Instagram Design Team, the American Craft Council, Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Magazine, The Strategist, Bustle and Etsy.
I am a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores historical and contemporary notions of the archive, Black pleasure and spatiotemporal collapse. My body of work includes weaving, photography, jewelry, painting and drawing. Through these media I explore the narratives of Black women in personal and institutional archives. Within the archive, women are defined by names, occupations or skin color. I return to particular images and remake them in glitter, collage, cloth or color in order to free these figures from the historical narratives into which they’ve been embedded. Visible Black pleasure is important to my practice. Pleasure is safety, experimentation, and choice. Pleasure makes possible the imagination of alternative futures where Black life is expansive and unrestricted.
I am interested in using the Rabbit Island Residency to create a collection of collages that include silhouette figures and native plants and materials. The silhouettes are of my grandparents, great aunts, and compelling strangers in my family album. The collages containing these silhouettes serve as the site of time-collapse where people can be at play, in company and in conversation. They are not wedded to any particular time, place or constraints. The organic material introduces the constant of nature through generations. While the homes and structures that housed the ancestors may not exist, the trees, grasses and moss that surrounded them remain. Collage is a material practice that allows me to process experiences for which I do not yet have words. Rabbit Island offers the opportunity for me to consider nature, and site-specific materials as part of or even the foundation of the collages. The plant life and other naturally occurring materials will provide texture to the collages.
Lucía Hinojosa Gaxiola & Roosmarijn Pallandt
Lucía Hinojosa Gaxiola is an interdisciplinary artist and writer from Mexico City. Her time-based practice explores the fluidity of language through investigative poetics, resulting in a corpus of visual, sonic, and text-based works. She has exhibited and performed at galleries and venues like Centro de la Imagen (Mexico City), Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros (Mexico), Audiograft Festival of Sound Art (Oxford), Chalton Gallery (London), Grice Bench Gallery (Los Angeles), The Poetry Project (NYC), Anthology Film Archives (NYC), among others. Her critical writings & poems have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, GasTV, Dolce Stil Criollo, Bombay Gin, philoSOPHIA, Precog Mag, and other publications. She received a BFA in Visual & Critical Studies from SVA, and completed the 2-year program at SOMA in Mexico City. In 2013, she co-founded the experimental editorial platform diSONARE and recently started RIZOMA, a series of performance workshops for imprisoned women.
Roosmarijn Pallandt is a cross-disciplinary visual artist from Amsterdam. Her works echo and embody themes of recollection, transformation, and universal knowledge. She uses a distinct artistically driven research methodology, immersing herself in biotopes as diverse as the deserts, jungles and mountains of Japan, Tibet, and Mexico, among other places. She often employs extensive dialogue with indigenous communities enabling creative collaboration to meet with these natural worlds. Currently her practice extends itself towards the constant metamorphosis and emergence of form, with a focus on the intelligence of nature, shamanism, and the invisible bonds that make up the fabric of life. Roosmarijn’s work has been shown at Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Mexico, Contemporary Gallery, Kunming, China; Lumen, London, UK; Desert Festival, Alice Springs, Australia; and Kyotographie Japan, amongst others. Her writings and performances have been featured in The New York Times, Phases, FRAME, Damn, Mr Motley, Vogue Japan, SeeAllThis, TL magazine, and more. Her work has been featured in recent publications by VOID photo; Book of Change by Stephen Ellcock, published by Princeton Architectural Press; and Tehran – Life Within Walls, edited by Hamed Khosravi, published by Hatje Cantz. She has been a visiting lecturer at The Sokei University Tokyo, OIST University Okinawa, Delft University of Technology, and the San Francisco Art Institute.
Lucía: Within the fields of environment, memory and time, I explore the limits of language, using entropy as a rubric to explore broader definitions of forms. My practice is essentially a process; a method of investigative poetics that results in a corpus of visual, sonic, and text-based works. I think of my practice as a drift within residues that are never vanished, but evoking new mind collisions, revealing new or possibly hidden epistemologies.
Roosmarijn: In search of a deep sense of shared belonging and interdependence, my work explores connections among mythology, geography and the ambiguous intersections of memory and perception, I seek the depth of ecological interdependence and the subtle connections that make up the fabric of life. Fascinated by infinite versions of narration bursting out through the emergences of patterns and rhythms that make up the living world, I build installations employing photography, film, textiles and sound.My practice is an exploration into deeply rooted knowledge of ceaseless cycles and its memory and power to transform. My work allows the viewer to step into a multi- dimensional and continuous flow of pulsations, where nothing is ever static.
Ecology is the house of logos, our dwelling place. But language is endemic. And orality—sound—a mimetic action. How can one engage with an environment’s dynamism, where language’s pulse is mysteriously hiding? How can a landscape reveal its own rhythms, patterns and frequencies to the human mind and spirit?
Through sound recollections and field recordings, walks, exercises for deep listening and poetic experimentations, we want to create an ecological partiture in collaboration with the Island’s rhythmic energy, to ultimately create a sound installation and interspecies performance, translating the resonance of living organisms into a multidimensional eco-score.
By aligning our biological tempos to the landscape using different recording techniques, we want to establish an intimate dialogue with the Island as both, a place and a being with a specific vibration.
Being two interdisciplinary artists from different backgrounds interested in the deep ecology of sound, we come together to explore the elemental flow of occult language and the interrelation between species. We want to honor Rabbit Island by engaging with the landscape’s hybridity as a body of water, air, fire and earth that is evolving with millions of species, providing counterbalance and ecological resistance to the earth’s catastrophic climate disaster.