Intentions Matter

by Karen Peacock. 0 Comments

TrespassInstallationWeb

You’ll want to visit Julie Maynard’s evocative new solo show at The Artists Gallery this month. This combination installation/traditional gallery exhibit features 60(!) new pieces. If that’s not enough, it’s also a narrative with multiple endings. Her room  is meticulously planned and crafted, even down to the titles. Below is the story of ‘Trespass’ in Julie’s own words.

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INTENTIONS MATTER IN ‘TRESPASS’ AT TAG

“Once I was trespassing in the woods…”

So begins the narrative that connects the images in my new show, “Trespass,” up at The Artists’ Gallery through October.

Not ‘walking,’ but ‘trespassing.’ That first sentence sets up the story which is based on something that happened to me: I went somewhere I shouldn’t have gone and as a result saw something I wish I hadn’t.

The experience was dramatic enough that I kept thinking about it— and the end result is an installation of thirteen large pictures which tell the story and forty-seven small pictures that annotate it. I hope that filling the room with so many images, as well as natural objects such as branches and bird nests, will in a small way evoke the experience of walking into a forest. There is so much to see in the woods, so many layers of light, shadow, texture, and sound. (A soundtrack accompanies the exhibit which is filled with birdsong, running water, and a passing thunderstorm.)

I had what seemed to me to be a good reason to be in those woods. I was doing a breeding bird survey and suspected the “posted” lane I’d spotted would give access to good habitat. Sometimes you want to know if it’s worth going to the trouble of figuring out who owns a property before you go to the trouble. But at a fork in the lane I came across an old house that had been vandalized, and vandalized in a rather disturbing way. That was the inspiration behind a show that is a departure for me in two ways.

First of all, the pieces are “sequential art” that tell a story with different possible endings. Sequential art can be just another name for graphic novels and comics, but I think it should also encompass work with a strong narrative element. Work that takes you from point A to point B through both images and text.

The small pieces are done in my usual collage style, with images built from torn and cut magazines. However, the large panels are silkscreen prints of digitally collaged photographs, hand-colored, with some collage elements. This is the second difference, but the use of photographs adds a layer of reality to what is, in fact, something I experienced.

What I saw in the woods got me thinking. I found it mattered to me what the vandals had been thinking when they were at work. If they were just bored kids, that’s one thing. But if they set out to achieve something specific, or if they meant to shock the next person who came along— then that’s another thing entirely.

“Trespass” is both a meditation on the ambiguity of evil and on the role of intention in art.

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Julie Maynard was juried in as a member of The Artists’ Gallery, an artists’ cooperative in Frederick, Md., in 2011.  Her recent solo shows include “Territory” at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center (Frederick, 2013) and “Train Wrecks” at TAG (2012).  She lives near Burkittsville.  Visit her website at juliemaynard.com.
“Trespass” runs through October at The Artists’ Gallery, 4 East Church Street, Frederick, Md. TAG is open from noon to 5pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

 

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