OCHI projects presents Erin Rachel Hudak and Lindsay Preston Zappas in two separate exhibitions. The exhibits will run from January 28th through March 4th, 2017. The opening receptions will be held on January 28th from 5-8pm.
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air; drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of each. Be blown by the winds, open your pores and bathe in all the tides of nature, in all her streams and oceans, at all seasons.” -Thoreau
Ochi Projects is pleased to present The Forest by Erin Rachel Hudak. The exhibition opens Saturday, January 28th, 2017 with an opening reception from 5-8pm and remains on view through Saturday, March 4th.
Though Hudak has long explored the dichotomy of man versus nature her inclination to paint specifically trees began during her residency on Governors Island with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in the spring of 2016. She noticed that all the trees on the island had been numbered and tagged many years ago for identification and care. At first Hudak was merely interested in the idea of documenting these trees that had survived city life for so long, but ultimately these city trees made Hudak long to find, and to paint, trees that hadn’t been planned, positioned and populated by people. She began to paint forests from memory and from imagination, seeking to observe, understand and appreciate all the forces at play within a healthy environmental ecosystem.
While making these paintings Hudak also became aware of the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, or “forest bathing,” a healing therapy whereby people, particularly those who live in cities, travel to take in the atmosphere of a forest with the purpose of enhancing their health. Interested in the idea of immersion in nature as healing, Hudak sought to create spaces of refuge in her own forest paintings.
Created from the perspective of an individual walking through a forest, Hudak’s paintings are not only meant to be escapes, but in turn they also ask a viewer to confront humankind’s relationship with the natural world, which is increasingly fraught with tension as we continue to take more than give. If we can look to nature to find solace and an ability to heal as individuals, Hudak hopes we can also find solutions and ways to heal and re-balance our relationship with the earth as a global community. “The forest is on a different time scale than we are,” she writes, “plant signals travel at the slow speed of a third of an inch per minute; they embody the long game…they may help us to remember to find silence, look around, hear your heart beating and revel in the beauty and splendor of nature… In these paintings, I am celebrating the return to nature, to what is balanced, wild, connected, rooted, powerful, hopeful, and heart-centered. Especially in this time of challenging politics, the forest is a refuge and example of the power of working as a collective for the good of all.
Erin Rachel Hudak (b. 1978) received her B.F.A from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and attended Allegheny College for art and literature. She has been awarded multiple grants for her public sculpture projects in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been featured in NY Daily News, Art+Culture.com, Vogue Girl Korea, Village Voice and Harper’s Bazaar International. Hudak’s most recent public project is You Are My Reflection, a site-specific installation in St. Louis, Missouri. She also participated in the LMCC Process Space Governors Island Spring 2016 Residency.
Ochi Projects is pleased to present Wanting Hide, Armed Mark by Lindsay Preston Zappas. The exhibition opens in our upstairs gallery Saturday, January 28th, 2017 with an opening reception from 5-8pm and remains on view through Saturday, March 4th.
Zappas’ work over the last several years has a distinct continuity. As her circular practice transitions through an array of mediums—expanding and contracting between the spatial and the flat—she maintains an interest in sculptural installation as a stage for reproduction. For Wanting Hide, Armed Mark, she incorporates elements of both into a series of work including tapestry weavings that were conceived and executed on a floor loom while teaching at Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon in the Fall of 2016.
While tapestry is a new medium for Zappas, the circular representation of imagery pulled through an array of media is a process in which Zappas is well versed. Her efforts in the studio flow through respective mediums with no equivocation, suggesting a non-hierarchical fusion of art, design, craft, concept, and ego. In Wanting Hide, Armed Mark, two large-scale woven paper works, and a series of intimate photographs join the weavings, displaying a push/pull tension that fully melds Zappas’ interest in the physicality of making with her ability to tread the thin line between chaos and cohesion.
Consistent in Zappas’ output is the presence of the body, whether manifested photographically or evidenced in handmade processes. Siting the body against a potpourri of patterned references, Zappas puts an image to mental saturation. For this exhibition, Zappas has created a new series of photographs—each shot totally in camera—which insist on the handmade, and highlight small subtle gestures. While Zappas’ work brushes against art historical depictions of the female body and garish Op Art, it is hemmed in by a quiet, quotidian element. The everyday, with its small pitfalls and victories, become a lens through which to see the constructs that we inhabit: the commercial, cultural, and political.
Lindsay Preston Zappas (b. 1985) received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013. She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles (Carla), an L.A. based critical art magazine that began in 2015. Recent exhibitions have included a solo show at City Limits (Oakland), a two person show at VACANCY (L.A.), and group shows at Small Editions (N.Y.) and Klowden Mann (L.A). Zappas has written for a number of publications including Art21, LACanvas, SFAQ, Carets and Sticks, and Carla. She has been part-time art faculty at Cal State Northridge, Fullerton College, and was recently visiting professor in the MFA department at Oregon College of Art and Craft.