Life today is very bewildering. We have no picture of it which is all-inclusive, such as former times may have had. We have to make a choice between concepts of great diversity. And as a common ground is wanting, we are baffled by them. We must find our way back to simplicity of conception in order to find ourselves.
– Anni Albers, 1937
Planthouse is pleased to present Reservoir, an exhibition featuring the work of Louise Eastman and Heather Watkins. Taking the idea of a deep, often unseen or unnamed source as point of departure, the exhibition includes new weavings, drawings, sculpture, printmaking, and ceramic work. The word reservoir evokes the idea of a place that holds what we value, need, and want to protect—a back-up store of energy, that, if well-tended, might serve as a lasting life source. The works in this exhibition form a kind of materials-based-conversation between Eastman and Watkins, drawing upon influences such as the work of Anni Albers, Agnes Martin, Tantric Painting, and Gee’s Bend Quilts. Reservoir opens Thursday, May 19 and will be on view through June 26. A limited edition collaborative print portfolio published in an edition of 15 by the artists will accompany the exhibition.
Louise Eastman is an artist working in weaving and ceramics. For Reservoir, Eastman weaves sets of long, highly detailed pieces on a floor loom, and contrasts them with clay bricks that frame smaller weavings and knit pieces. The work is a continuation of her previous large hand weavings and cast bricks, and reflect the lyricism that comes from an embrace of the tactile, of materiality. Eastman further explores the profound politics of materials and craft traditionally considered trivial, or gender bound. Eastman received her MFA from Pratt Institute, NY, and has recently shown at Silas Marder Gallery, Russell Janis Gallery. Previously, she received a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. She currently lives and works in New York City.
Heather Watkins’ work explores the nature and possibilities of the drawn line – materially and symbolically. Working with ink, cord, thread, cloth, and paper, she submits these materials to many cycles of saturation, compression, intertwining, and transference. Through these physical processes, she investigates phenomena such as flow, stasis, circulation, and gravity. Her work takes many forms: sculpture, drawing, text-based work, printmaking, and artist’s books. Watkins’ artwork has been shown in numerous exhibitions, including at PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR; Portland Art Museum; the lumber room; and The Art Gym, and is held in private and public collections including the Portland Art Museum, the Miller Meigs Collection, the Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer, and Portland State University, among others. In her work as a book designer, Watkins has created artist’s monographs for the Cooley Gallery at Reed College, and the New Museum, New York. Watkins holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.