A Map to Nowhere

Jenny Bolhofner's exhibition 'A Map to Nowhere' opens at Hand Held next week.

Jenny has sent this beautiful exhibition over from America for her first solo show outside of the US.

Jenn will be in Melbourne from Wed 10th to Saturday 13th and we'd love for you to meet her.

Well schedule a meet the artist afternoon on the 13th and hopefully lots of you will be able to drop in and say hi.

 

"A Map to Nowhere"

Maps are supposed to tell us where we are. They show us how to go from point A to point B. Maps reveal relationships. They represent space and orientation. But I always wondered what a map of isolation would look like. How do you show space without anything in that space? How do you depict something without having anything nearby to determine scale, location, or relation? How do you make a map to nowhere? A life changing move to Guam, a tiny island in the Pacific, left me examining this idea. Suspended there, insignificant in the vast sea, I experienced feelings foreign to me- feelings of isolation and detachment. In this body of work, I wanted to explore these feelings through research and attempt to translate my emotions into something more calculated and scientific. I turned to Charles Darwin's studies on nature, geographical isolation and evolution to help symbolize my own feelings of severance. His work provides relevant theories on the creation and extinction of plant and animal species in areas isolated by geographic barriers. Living on an island, I could relate to these ideas of natural selection and allopatry (the process by which a population of species becomes separated by a physical barrier and divides into two different species). Collecting plant life around Guam, I incorporated them into my work to represent my own feelings of separation. Aesthetically, I used topographic imagery to attempt to connect personal feelings to something more tangible and universal. While emotions are ambiguous and hard to pinpoint, I feel that maps provide a platform in which the viewer can relate. Likewise, the use of repetition in imagery and process (i.e. layers of sewing) were integrated to connect the viewer to the concept of the mundane. Each stitch mimics the continuity and monotony of isolated living.

 

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