Showing: October 3 – 31
Reception: Saturday October 14, 5 – 7 pm
Saturday, October 14, 4pm
Saturday, October 21, 4pm, followed by an artist talk at 5pm
Cycles and Lines between Destiny and Decision is a response to my recent visit to Iceland, where I explored nature during an Icelandic summer. I was intrigued by the simplicity – yet beauty of landscapes – by the ever-changing weather – that can easily run through four seasons in a single day.
Iceland’s stark and barren environments tell a story of primordial earth power – when great masses of magma solidified to become rock, when the mantle of the earth cracked open and enormous planetary forces pushed layers of rock upon each other to tower up and form rugged mountains.
Iceland is a place where man’s sub ordinance to nature becomes apparent. I was fascinated by the Old Norse Mythology, which assumes man as a part of nature – equal to everything else. The story suggests that earth itself – as well as all beings – is created from the two central elements that existed from the beginning: fire and ice. Out of these was formed a humongous giant – Ymir, who was later slayed and his body was shaped to become the world we know: his flesh became earth, his blood the sea, his bones formed hills and mountains, his hair trees and plants, his skull the heavens and his brains were tossed up to be clouds.
Yggdrasill, the World Ash (tree) grows from the well of destiny and protects the world. However, it also suffers alongside it. According to traditional Nordic belief Yggdrasill’s condition reflects the condition of our planet.
In its branches dwell 9 worlds –inhabited by different beings – amongst them gods, giants and humans. In its bark are engraved the destinies of each being, as well as the destiny of the world itself. While the prediction is not rigid and allows for some elasticity, the final outcome is inevitable. The world will end in a grand inferno, and the universe will be devoured by Fenris, a giant wolf.
Norse mythology is cyclical – it will repeat forever. From the void left behind a new world will arise. The gods will return from the underworld and the game will start over -a new attempt with the same figures – on a new chessboard.
With recent world happenings – political, social, ethical, environmental injustice – suppression, exploitation, discrimination, hatred and ignorance I have been wondering what means we have to take a different course – one that embraces acceptance and inclusion, one where we can dwell in peace and find happiness for ourselves and for the world at large. Or are we on a treadmill where we have no directive power to make change at all?
My exhibition explores the idea of repetition, of lifelines that are layered on top of each other, of the connection between man/woman and nature, and how nature guides us through life and how we depend on it – even if we think we can subdue it, reign over it. Cycles and Lines between Destiny and Decision also explores the concept of “trophy hunting” – for wealth, fame, recognition – anything that we have become accustomed to measure our personal value up against. Anything that preoccupies us and prevents us from seeing the essence of life and seeking for true fulfillment.
Sonja Hinrichsen examines urban and natural environments through exploration and research. As an artist she feels the responsibility to address subject matters our society tends to neglect or deny, particularly adverse impacts to the natural world. Her work manifests in immersive video installations, video performances and interventions in nature. Her participatory project “Snow Drawings” engages communities worldwide.
Sonja graduated from the Academy of Art in Stuttgart, Germany in 1997/98, and received a Masters degree in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2001. She has been invited to group- and solo- exhibitions worldwide, amongst others the DePaul Museum in Chicago, Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, Chandra Cerrito Contemporary in Oakland, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Krowswork Gallery in Oakland, the Somarts Culture Center in San Francisco, RedLine Gallery in Denver, the Peeler Art Center in Greencastle, IL, the Colorado Photo Art Center in Denver, Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, School 33 Art Center in Baltimore, Saarlaendisches Kuenstlerhaus in Germany, Organhaus in Chongqing, China, Pier 2 Art Center in Taiwan, and many more. She has won numerous artist residency awards, such as the Bemis Center in Omaha, Djerassi in California, the Santa Fe Art Institute, Ucross Foundation in WY, Jentel in WY, Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY, VCCA in Virginia, Valparaiso in Spain, Fiskars in Finland, Saari/Kone Foundation in Finland, Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan, only to name a few. In fall 2009 she served as visiting artist at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, where she taught an art/research class culminating in an artist-student exhibition. In summer 2009 she taught a special course for the University of Northern Colorado and PlatteForum Denver to explore innovative ways for educators to incorporate art into their school curricula. In 2008 she conducted a city exploration project with children from Girls Incorporated in collaboration with the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, DE. In 2007 she co-curated “Goldrush”, a traveling exhibition featuring artists from the San Francisco Bay Area at venues in Slovenia, Germany and San Francisco.
Sonja’s ongoing community arts project Snow Drawings has been featured on numerous art, design, culture and environmental websites and blogs, such as the Huffington Post, IGNANT, Spiegel online (Germany), WIRED (US), The Creator’s Project (Germany) and in magazines, including Public Art Review (US), Revolve Magazine (Belgium, environmental magazine), WIRED (Japan), SOMA Magazine (US), TRACCE (Italian Archeology Magazine), MZONE (Chinese Art Magazine), Yellow Scene Magazine (US) and many more. Snow Drawings were included in the book “Designed for the Future, 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World”, by Jared Green and in “INDA 9 – International Drawing Annual”, published by the Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center, Cincinnati, OH, and in an in an Environmental Arts Calendar (2014). Among others Snow Drawings has aired on KQED-Spark (San Francisco’s PBS station), MSNBC, The Discovery Channel and public TV Tokyo. Photographic prints and video have been shown in exhibitions in California, Colorado and in Europe. Snow Drawings are also featured in elementary school books in Germany and France, as well as the French youth magazines “Le Petit Quotidien” and “J’apprends a Lire” and a high school course book. A print from the Snow Drawings 2013 series (Lake Catamount, CO) was awarded First Prize by the Piedmont Art Center in Piedmont, California.