Showing: October 3rd-31st
Reception: Saturday October 8th, 5-7 pm
The visual connections and functional similarities between the microscopic and the cosmic realms provoke a sense of the divine. Under a microscope, atomic particles, microbes, and the capillary structure of a leaf evoke constellations and nebulae of deep space to aerial views of cities and towns. Conversely, galaxies, planets, and meteorites can appear as the hugely scaled doppelgangers of tiny wildflowers, grains of pollen or a virus cell.
The universe’s inherent paradoxes of scale and time have influenced my core being since early childhood. I clearly recall a discussion with my father where we found ourselves talking about our physical and metaphorical place in the universe. I remarked how big and how minuscule I felt all at once.
“What if that spec of dirt is a universe of its own? What if I accidentally step on it?”
Each cosmos, I wondered, could be filled with smaller ones and vice versa. Where do I fit in these? How long do they last or live? Most of these worlds I would never see due to their unimaginable hugeness or smallness, but I was convinced they existed.
Scale can be contextualized by what we know already – our height, our age, the width of a hair, the span of a day. For the past two years, I have been taking a closer and deeper look at my world through a macro camera lens and a digital microscope. While in this process, I discovered striking, almost monumental images published by Andrew Tomkins, Ph.D. from Monash University in Australia. At first, I couldn’t quite place them – were they cancer cells or distant moons? It turned out that they were ancient fossilized micrometeorites, only a hair’s width in size.
As a visual artist, I found them very beautiful and compelling in their oddness. Their surfaces are wrinkled like a brain and they have, for me, distinct personalities. I reached out to the author and asked permission to use his micrometeorite images. Not only did Dr. Tompkins let me play with them, but we began a conversation engendering insight into scale and time at the threshold of art and science… and the value of staying true to your earliest inspirations. I want to express my deepest gratitude to Dr. Tompkins for providing images and insights that helped nurture the development of this work.
Elizabeth Addison describes her studio practice
“In and out of my studio, I conduct deep investigations and layers of discovery – literally, conceptually, and technically – in a fugue-like creative process. A typical project begins when an idea or image – like a micrometeorite – presents itself. My satisfaction lies in discovering unique ways to interpret the idea or imagery and, in turn, the intellectual and research investigation it ignites.
I love the play of visual depth masquerading as something simple, and, conversely imbuing the simple and minute with a sense of monumentality. Monoprint, my primary medium, allows me to accomplish this most successfully. Monoprint is a form of printmaking that contains images, textures, patterns and other elements that can be made only once, producing singular impressions as opposed to editions of identical multiples. Monoprint is also the freest, most experimental and painterly of printmaking methods. I have often referred to it as painting with a 600-pound brush.
My prints are composed of many layers, burying and revealing imagery with each pass. They are also “built up” with a variety of techniques that include direct painting, markmaking, stencils, chine collé, impromptu methods, and paper litho. I adapted the paper litho (photocopy image transfer) into a non-toxic and signature technique; an offset process, it uses photocopies as a resist printing plate in lieu of a stone or metal lithography plate. The imperfect nature of this process, in particular, gives each print a unique presence.
Ultimately, I integrate my creative and intellectual investigations into a visual essence that not only frames my subject, but also illuminates the aspects I find fascinating.” – Elizabeth Addison, 2016
Elizabeth Addison is a San Francisco Bay Area visual artist, curator, and educator whose works are included in The California Endowment permanent collection and collected by numerous private and public collectors. Her primary media include experimental printmaking, installation, audio and digital media.
Addison’s most recent works are in response to visual connections and functional similarities between the microscopic and the cosmic realms. Informed by the relationship between science and artistic vision, she invokes the threshold created at their intersection. Her liminal environments reflect upon humankind and its relationship with nature, science, and the comparison between belief and data-driven conclusions.
A 15-year plus artist participant in SOMArts annual Día De Los Muertos, Ms. Addison’s work has been featured at SOMArts, The California Endowment, The Marin Foundation, Abrams Claghorn Gallery, Claudia Chapline Gallery, The Institute of Noetic Sciences, The O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, The Berkeley Civic Center, Kala Art Institute, John F. Kennedy University Gallery, The Barbara Anderson Gallery, Addison Street Windows, and Oakopolis. She is an Artist-in-Residence at the Kala Art Institute, NCWCA professional development chair, a WEAD (Women’s Environmental Artists’ Directory) member.