Sunday, November 9, 2014

the art of dying opening

Installation photos from the Chaffee Art Center taken at the end of the evening.


Interstitial Space #7, #8 and #9

Resurrection

Razor's Edge


Flow

Even though its a rare day that goes by when I haven't found myself thinking on the meaning of the phase of life we call death, I wasn't prepared for the intensity of participating in an exhibition centered on that theme.  

The art was heartfelt and sincere; the audience was inquisitive and engaged.  Every floor of the large Chaffee Mansion Gallery was filled with art:  a spoken word recording station, writing, music, sculpture, photography, handmade books, fiber arts and painting, all explorations on the meaning of death in our lives.  It was humbling.  It was amazing.  

For once I didn't feel like the odd girl out - the weird one who spends her time thinking about death and the afterlife.

The show runs until December 5 and I strongly recommend you make the trip.  It is worth the drive.

By the way - on the very dark drive home, traveling through a blackness made even darker by the lack of moon and spitting rain, a coyote ran across the road in front of the car.  He sprinted, head down, right in our path - fortunately Bruce saw him and braked in time.  This is only the second coyote I have ever seen . . .  Gives me the shivers.

Monday, November 3, 2014

art of dying




Six of my pieces:  Razor's Edge, Flow, Resurrection, Interstitial Space #7 and #8 and #9 are part of the Art of Dying show at Rutland's Chaffee Art Center which opens this Friday, November 7 - 5:00 to 7pm.  Follow the link for directions/map and more information.

This is the statement I submitted to the Jury for the show:


Last fall my neighbor shot a coyote and strung it up in the entrance to his barn. Each day as I passed the farm the presence of this animal pulled at me in a sad and curious way. My uncomfortable feelings did not come from a moral judgement about hunting but from a deeper more mysterious place. I had been exploring the ideas of death in my work for several years, specifically what happens to a being's vital life force (whether it is called a soul or identity) once it dies. This coyote became a symbol of life and death for me. The resulting photographs offered a way for me to visually synthesize my thoughts and speculations on what happens after death.

The group of photographs I have submitted for consideration for the Art of Dying show chronicles my investigation into where the living go after death.

Because I can't know with certainty, or even uncertainty, what happens after death I have centered my work on the idea that death releases a soul into a liminal space – an interstitial world – where it deconstructs and becomes part of a universal flow of energy that surrounds everything.

The series begins with the coyote itself in two forms: the whole animal in ascension called Resurrection and a second piece, Flow, in which the animal disintegrates and enters a universal force field that surrounds all life.

The other images presented here, Interstitial Spaces #7, #8 and #9 aim at visually representing the emotional atomic energy I associate with an unknowable place that exists after death. The final piece submitted, Razor's Edge, describes the moment of death wherein the soul has yet to progress into the interstitial space and is still suspended in a mortal world.

All of this work is meant to be experienced on an emotional level and not meant as an academic or theological statement on the issue of death and the afterlife.



detail:  Saffran 2013  Flow

Saffran 2013 Razor's Edge 39" x 65"

Monday, September 29, 2014

personal histories book arts show

The year long tour of the Personal Histories book arts show has begun.  To see the artists and their work included in the show click here:  personal histories. My submission is a book I made in memory of my mom.


Possibility               Michelle Saffran 2014           accordion fold book  6" x 42" when extended

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

personal histories international exhibition

"Possibility"  michelle saffran:  handmade accordion fold book with original photograph:  folded size 4" x 6" 2014  $125.






I have pushed against the ideas of time being unredeemable and that reexamining the past is futile. 

I believe we continually redeem the past through its re-imagination and that it is this re-imagination that tells us who we are and offers us the opportunity to become who we most want to be.  Because the past is with us in the present, and will be part of our future we may redeem what is lost. 

I call upon the photograph to trigger an uncanny re-experiencing of the past.  The intention behind my work is to explore the possibilities of a photograph as a catalyst for remembrance and a summons to reflect on loss.

The book "Possibility" is from a series of photographic stories about my family.  The series is my reflection on the identities of my parents, my siblings and myself as people separate from our roles within the family.  "Possibility" is dedicated to my mom who, as the book says, grew up in the era where being born a girl meant a specific set of expectations, rules that determined and limited her path in life.  In this book I give her the wings to achieve all her dreams.

"Possibility" will be part of the Personal Histories international exhibition organized by Robyn and Glenn Foster of Australia.  More than a year in the planning, this book arts exhibition will travel within Australia from the Redlands Art Museum in October (2014), to Redland Art Gallery (April 2015), and then on to RMT University Gallery Canberra in Septemeber  2015.  An ambitious project and equally ambitious tour schedule.  I only wish I could see the show in person.  Fortunately for those of us who won't be able to visit Australia, the exhibition website is an amazing showcase of all the artist's work. 



Friday, July 25, 2014

art show and sale




I have joined forces with Holly KingPat Lyon-Surrey and Jackie Smith ( from left to right) and rented the Moretown Town Hall to show or latest and most favorite work.

Included in the show will be music from: Peace and Pardon, a trio that sings 19th century parlor music, composer and musician Erik Nielsen and musician Bruce Saffran.

We are On The Way  to other arts related activities and celebrations that are part of the month long Valley Arts Festival.  Please join us!

Thank you to our business sponsor - Majestic Auto of Moretown.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

a sampling of new work

Interstitial Space #3 and #9

Saffran  Interstitial Space #3 redux  42" x 19"  sewn color photograph 2014  $400



detail



Saffran    Interstitial Space #9    26" x 19"  sewn color photograph  2014  $300


Idols of the Cave  redux
Saffran  Idol of the Cave #2   19" x 51"  sewn color photograph  $400

detail 


Flow - the book version

Saffran  Flow  handmade accordion fold book  7" x 100"  2014  $400 

top view when unfolded
detail inner pages

detail inner pages

detail inner pages


 I will be showing these pieces along with other new works at the On The Way Art Show 
August 3, at Moretown Town Hall - Sunday 12 - 4pm.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

25th Annual Green Mountain Cultural Center Photo Show




You'll have the chance to see three of my constructed still life photographs from two earlier series Searchers and Princess at the Round Barn in Waitsfield during this annual event July 28 - September 1. 

This show is part of the month long Vermont Festival of the Arts celebration held here in the Mad River Valley.

I've heard the opening reception has amazing food but you have to get there early!  There will also be a cash bar and artist talk (not by me!)

Opening Celebration August 6 Wednesday 5:30 - 7:30.

What you will see:

Saffran   Destiny is Opening  2011 13"x19" $300
Saffran  With Him Are The Keys to the Unseen  
2011 13"x19" $300

Saffran    Magic Wand   2010 6.75" x 11.25"  $250