Posts Tagged ‘visual artist’

Julia Bradshaw

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Photographer and video performance artist Julia Bradshaw is exhibiting seven different series of work in her first one person show at Fresno City College this month. Her work often comments on language and the mixed messages of cross-cultural exchanges.

Bradshaw was born in Manchester, England. She spent nine years working and living in Munich, Germany where she studied with Michael Jochum before coming to California in 1995. She received her MFA from San José State University in 2007. Bradshaw is Assistant Professor of Photography at California State University, Fresno.

Whirligig: At Fresno City College you are exhibiting seven different series of photo-based works: Cut Pieces (2010), Case X (2010), Nocturnal (2010), On Photographing Breasts (2009), Tissue Blowing Project (2007), Constraints (2003), and Companions of my Imagination (1994). What is the thread between these bodies of work?

Julia: I am interested in the photographic series as a means to problem solve or comment on everyday life. Apart from the Nocturnal series, all of these projects have something to do with our culture and society. Cut Pieces, On Photographing Breasts and Case X are all linked in that they have to do with my investigations into libraries and books. They consider book content, the public’s misuse of books and a library’s policy on “protecting” books. The Constraints Series has to do with the various societal dictums that potentially have something inherently good and bad associated with them. For example, I have an image and text combination I call “polite conversation.” In this image I am trying to say that “polite conversation” is positive in that it ensures a civil society, however it also has a negative aspect in that polite conversation also can prevent people engaging at a deeper level. Likewise in the Tissue Blowing Project I am also thinking about language. In this project I visually represent miscommunication, disputes, failed advances, diametric viewpoints and avoidance and absence in relationships.

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José Arenas

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Bay area painter José Arenas recently completed a mural commission in his hometown neighborhood of downtown San José, now the up and coming art district of the United States’ 10th largest city. Arenas is art faculty at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California; a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute and UC Davis, where he completed his MFA in 2000. He is currently represented by Hang Gallery in San Francisco. This interview was conducted at the completion of the San José mural, and will be included in a monograph of Arenas’ work to be published in early 2010 by Hunger Button Books.


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Whirligig: You’ve just completed a mural in downtown San José that is 16 feet high by 108 feet long. How does that feel?

José: It feels pretty good especially now that it’s done. I now have time to look back and reflect on what happened in the last two months. I was really excited to work with other people. I usually don’t get that when working in the studio, in there it’s mostly alone time. So I got to work with a great team for about six weeks and at the end of the project we held an unveiling party. It was a really good way to give thanks to all of them for being involved in such a big project.

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Jane Reichhold

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Jane Reichhold is an internationally recognized and award-winning artist and poet, prolific writer, editor, publisher, and scholar based in Gualala, California. Jane has written thousands of poems and published nearly 35 books on haiku, tanka, and renga, including Basho: The Complete Haiku (2008); Ten Years Haikujane (2008); and Writing and Enjoying Haiku: A Hands on Guide (2002). Jane is a co-editor of LYNX, the publisher of AHA Books, and editor of AHA! POETRY where she keeps the practice of writing successful haiku and other Japanese poetry forms alive and lively.

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Whirligig: You spent over twenty years working on Basho: The Complete Haiku. What compelled you to create this book? Can you talk about your motivations and processes?

Jane: I felt that if I could really see how Basho wrote his hokku, by seeing each word he used and not some translator’s idea of what a haiku could be in English, I could figure out how to write a better haiku. I started first by collecting every translation of each of his poems and comparing them. Then I asked Japanese friends to give me a word-for-word translation. I began to study Japanese but still depended on Japanese translators. My only contribution was to understand how Japanese poetry works and to make the translations fit or follow these precepts.

Whirligig: That’s a very humble response for twenty years of work which resulted in invaluable insights for both Basho and haiku scholars and enthusiasts.

Jane: Truth, like haiku, is so simple.

Whirligig: What initially drew you to haiku?

Jane: On the sale table at City Lights Books Store in San Francisco, in 1968, I found a Peter Pauper book of translations for a quarter. Though I had been writing poetry since college, I felt that here in the Japanese poems was a new way of expressing poetry. Soon afterwards I was making a vessel on a potter’s wheel and just as I pulled the clay upward a bird sang out. I had the feeling that it was the bird’s voice that caused the clay to rise. I realized that in this coincidence what I felt was the same kind of inspiration Japanese poets valued.

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Kent Manske

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Kent Manske is a visual artist working in traditional and hybrid forms of print media. He is a professor of art at Foothill College where he teaches graphic design, printmaking and books as art. His MFA is from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. This interview was conducted upon the publication of a book on Kent’s work titled Re:ad.

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Whirligig: Why do you make things?

Kent: To make sense of things I don’t understand, like my feelings about humanity. I’m compelled to process matters of our existence, like why we believe what we do. I make things to find my own peace, even though much of what I explore is not peaceful. Sixteen thousand people die per day of hunger related causes. The Arctic is melting and the oceans are rising. Exploring issues and concerns help me recontextualize my own reality and make sure I’m not living in a total state of deception. Art helps me to take responsibility for the privileges I’ve inherited.

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