Featured photo: “Fire” (2005) by Teresita Fernández. Silk yarn, steel armature, and epoxy, 96″ x 144″. From the SFMOMA Collection, as viewed during “Beyond Belief” (Summer 2013) at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco. Photo by Deborah Ross.
For those of you who were unable to attend the sold-out lecture by internationally known installation artist Teresita Fernández last Wednesday evening (May 18, 2016) at the Phoenix Art Museum, I thought I would share a short audio excerpt. You’ll hear Fernández candidly talking about her relationship with creativity, which I think will strike a chord with many artists. The artwork she refers to is “Seattle Cloud Cover,” a glass bridge bearing saturated color photographs that spans Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park.
Also, I enjoyed hearing Fernández explain the process behind her 2005 work “Fire,” a uniquely immersive installation that I had the pleasure of seeing (and photographing) when on vacation in San Francisco in 2013. It was part of the Contemporary Jewish Museum group show “Beyond Belief: 100 Years of the Spiritual in Modern Art.” “Fire” was a huge undertaking given the precision necessary in the dyeing of its many silken threads, but the result is a work that evokes the ephemeral nature of fire and which invites the viewer to become a co-creator of the undulating silk “flames” as he or she circles the installation.
I wish I could have visited “Fata Morgana,” Fernández’s nine-month-long installation that went up in New York’s Madison Square Park last summer. The artist created a 500-foot canopy of mirrored discs that provided an immersive experience for all those enjoying the park’s winding pathways. In any case, I learned how “Fata Morgana” was meant to create individual narratives and erased narratives simultaneously, as people interacted with it.
Here’s hoping we see more of Fernández in Phoenix, either in person or through her splendid artworks.