now see here


April 21 – May 21, 2010

Artists: Erica Harris

ISE Cultural Foundation is pleased to present “now see here” by Erica Harris at Front Space.

“I am a collage artist, and I also teach art to children. In recent years I have facilitated projects in Macedonia, El Salvador, Brazil, Myanmar, Laos, India and Brooklyn. These settings have had a profound influence on my work, and the collaborations with children have been extremely rewarding exchanges. Using art as a tool to outline and interpret their relationships to their environment, I am provided with such an eloquent and universal visual vocabulary.
Working in collaboration with communities where English is not spoken has also shaped the content of my work, particularly my relationship to language. I like using text; I use the printed word as a pattern, and I often refer to how words and images are interchangeable symbols. While traveling, I concentrated on collecting various printed paper: old children’s encyclopedias, gravestone rubbings, medicine labels, and other ephemera. I incorporated what I found and saw into the narratives of my pieces. In these countries that have been so damaged by years of war and poverty, I became fascinated by how everyday experiences and ordinary objects related to destruction, immigration, chaos, survival and loss. Something very mundane could be a symbol of safety or shelter, while simultaneously being a relic of war. It is in this context that I am drawn to the use of simple imagery: a house, water, shoes, birds. Combining discarded materials to make these narratives, is like creating a shrine, or providing a sanctuary for people, places and objects that need mending.”
By Erica Harris

Image: “Basin”, acrylic, collage, thread on canvas, 22″ x 24″