Exhibition in Rundum: Photos and Credits

Here are some photos from my recent solo exhibition in Rundum, Tallinn. It opened on November 14th 2013. That same night we also held an Artist Talk where a representative from the local animal rights group (Loomade Nimel) Kristina interviewed me about the connections between my art and activism.

rundum-panorama-web

Panoramic exhibition view

This was my first time exhibiting the newest body of work I call “Ship Life”, which is a series of drawings of my time as a volunteer onboard the marine conservation organization Sea Shepherd ships. My drawings are always based on photographs and I must admit back then I wasn’t a confident enough photographer to whip out my little camera in the harsh Southern Ocean environment, so all of these drawings are based on photos taken by other people. First and foremost I am honored to credit my friend and shero Jo-Anne McArthur – the woman behind We Animals and the protagonist in the amazing new documentary The Ghosts In Our Machine. Most of the photos I used for these drawings (including the majestic Bob Barker on the wall) were taken by Jo-Anne. Other photographers I would like to credit are Barbara Veiga, Anna WlochIt’s A Wildlife and Glenn Lockitch. These drawings wouldn’t exist without you guys!

3 light boxes installation detail

This was also the first public display of my light boxes. I told all exhibition guests who would hear me out about how great LED lights are and how we can change the world for the better if we all ditch the incandescent and halogen bulbs for LEDs. In fact, all the lighting used at the exhibition was specially designed, mainly made of just LED strips and aluminium profiles.

Rundum exhibition, detailed view, Tallinn, näitus, Anastasia Parmson

Special cool white LED lighting to set the tone

I must also say a big thank-you to the Rundum team, they were great and helped me a lot with many little last minute errands. They were also the perfect little fairies at the opening night – making sure that everything is in order and guests are happy.

rundum expo large boxes-2

boxes in rundum 9

It is imperative that I give a big wave and virtual hugs to all my fellow crew members: you probably don’t know this yet but your beautiful faces are now permanently lit up and seen by as many people as I can muster. This particular series of work features pictures of: Arne, Bevan, Cam, Chris, Christine, Dave, Mal and Paul!

boxes in dark exhibition Anastasia Parmson Rundum Tallinn

In dim light the light box drawings look as if they are floating in the air

Last but not least I must say thanks to my wonderful assistant / technical advisor / installation director Philip who took such great care of this project as if it was his own.

rundum wall detail-1

As soon as the exhibition finished I had to rush the light boxes to the next event. But more about that in a next post…

Wall Drawing Process

© Anastasia Parmson 2013

Here is a time lapse of the wall drawing progress for my solo show in Rundum Artist-Run Space in Tallinn. It is a drawing of the Sea Shepherd ship M/V Bob Barker based on a beautiful photo taken by Jo-Anne McArthur (We Animals). The whole process only took something like 7 hours and several marker re-fills. I was extremely happy to be able to do this; drawing on walls is incredibly fun and hopefully I can repeat the experience again soon! If it was up to me I’d be doing a lot more drawing on walls, filling whole rooms with drawings in fact, a little like Charlotte Mann who draws furniture and decorations and even parquet floors! There are so many intricate details in her work, it is just mind boggling. Perhaps one day I will have a blank-canvas room all to myself to fill with a linear world…

Follow-up on Rundum exhibition preparations

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My long-awaited LEDs did arrive on Monday but turned out to be a completely wrong colour compared to the previous ones, making the pictures look purple. So yesterday I had to travel far and wide and visit parts of Tallinn I didn’t even know existed to find more-or-less suitable LED lights for the new light boxes. The problem with living in Estonia as opposed to Asia is that people don’t yet appreciate the tremendous greatness of LED lighting and thus they are A) not readily available on every corner and B) not affordable at all. Because I was desperate and didn’t have time to order more lights from China I had to pay more than 10 times (!) the price I would normally pay per meter of light strip. I will put this experience behind me as a big lesson and next time will order a mountain of lights from Asia to be sure I have enough for any situation. Now let’s not talk about it ever again.

Instead here’s a little sneak-peak of the mural I have prepared for tomorrow’s exhibition opening. I am so happy I got to finally experience drawing on walls and I love it! If I could I’d do just that all day long: drawing on walls, on paper, on everything that crosses my path!!

The wall drawing took me about 7 hours to finish and used up the entire marker nib along with several ink re-fills. But that’s okay because when looking for the perfect tool for the job I discovered the amazing company called Molotow that makes re-fillable markers with inter-changeable and replaceable tips. They have the right attitude toward sustainability and a great product range so I am happy to give them a big shout-out.

I’ll post more photos of the drawing process as soon as the major running around and preparations are done with!

how i found my visual handwriting

old drawing style versus new

drawing style change: 2003 to 2008

When I was studying art in high school I could not comprehend why one teacher never seemed to be satisfied with my portrait drawings. I was able to achieve such great resemblance with the subject through meticulous shading and pencil smudging – the perfect use of possibilities that a 2B pencil can offer with its grayscale variations. And yet she thought it was lacking personality. At the time I didn’t understand at all what she meant by that.

In university we rarely had any drawing assignments, so my skilled grayscale-hand got rusty. But one time we had to put together a huge portfolio with a lot of sketches, including drawings of everyday objects such as shoes and pots. One night I was sitting at my desk fighting boredom while trying to draw a saucepan and realized that if I wanted to draw it in my usual way I would have to do a lot of tedious and uniform shading. So it is out of laziness and boredom that the idea struck: why not draw just the contours of the object and the lines between dark and light areas to give it depth.

That drawing took me only a few minutes to make (and as I have a rather short attention span then energy efficiency is extremely important for me) and ever since then I have never gone back to pencil-shading or even pen-hashing to differentiate light and dark areas of an image. I wonder what my old teacher would say about my drawing style now…

Have you ever made any valuable discoveries out of laziness?

Artist Statement Generator

© Anastasia Parmson 2013

Have you ever had trouble figuring out what to write in your artist statement and the deadline for sending it off is in half an hour? Ever heard of such thing as an Artist Statement Generator? Well, don’t go deleting your drafts just yet, but for a little procrastination break and some laughs they can definitely be of good value. And who knows, you might even get some ideas or cool words out of them.

  • The first one is a project called 500 Letters created by Jasper Rigole in response to a curator asking him to send a statement of 100 words or 500 letters as quickly as possible. Here is the ‘first letter’ that he responded with. The generated text is relatively long and not too personalized, full of ‘big’ words (which was probably completely intentional). The funny (or sad?) part is that the generated statement could very well be copy-pasted by an artist and presented as the ‘real deal’ and many people wouldn’t know any better
  • The second generator is more concise and easily modified to suit your needs. It is no less or more of a joke than the previous example but in this case the joke is a lot more obvious. At first glance the outcome seemed rather absurd but after a little tweaking I think I actually managed to generate a statement that might not be far from the truth. The best thing about this 10gallon generator is that it reminds us artists that our statements should not always be too serious – a little humor never hurt anyone.

Here is what my generated statement looks like:

Through my work I attempt to examine the phenomenon of line drawing as a metaphorical interpretation of both Warhol and anonymity.
What began as a personal journey of depressionism has translated into images of architecture and faces that resonate with caucasian people to question their own whiteness.
My mixed media drawings embody an idiosyncratic view of in-betweenness, yet the familiar imagery allows for a connection between Mona Lisa, pop culture and yourself.
My work is in the private collection of Oprah who said ‘Holy shizzles!, that’s some real exponential Art.’

I am a recipient of a grant from Folsom Prison where I served time for stealing mugs and tie clips from the gift shop of The MoMa. I have exhibited in group shows at Starbucks and Apollonia, though not at the same time. I currently spend my time between my kitchen and Berlin.

I think this absurd statement actually has a lot of truth in it regarding my work. I also think Andy Warhol would have loved the idea and is probably turning around in his grave for not having thought of it himself. Have you ever experimented with any artist statement generators? What were the results? I would love to see what came out of it so please feel free to share a link in the comments!

Wet feet.

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After reading and hearing so much about how great it is to have a blog I thought perhaps the Universe is trying to tell me something so I decided to jump right in.

Recently I have really been concentrating on making lots of new drawings. Drawing is great, it’s like an exercise in zen meditation and ultimate concentration all at once. Most of my drawings are based on photographs I have taken and edited myself. What has amazed me most lately is that even after photographing a scene and then post-processing it – staring at it for quite a while – there are still details in the pictures that I only notice once I start drawing it. Like for example the mysterious pair of shoes on the bench in the picture above… Drawing really makes me see things differently, in minute detail, and these unexpected surprises make the process that much more rewarding.