FENCES

Portland Center Stage, Gerding Theater at the Armory
April- June, 2010

This series of four large drawings is being shown in conjunction with the play The Chosen based on the book by Chaim Potok. I was inspired by The Chosen to revisit with some ideas I'd begun working out a long time ago. They relate to boundaries, divisions, demarcations of territory, and borders between people and places: the fences we create in space and in relationships as well as in politics and war. One of my sources for these bramble fences is the uncut bits of land between agricultural fields, especially in Europe. There is always a dividing area with a scraggly tree, brambles, weeds and sometimes some broken fence that delineates one patch of land from another. In The Chosen, a wide gap or tall fence separates two Orthodox Jewish boys who have so much in common and yet are still divided by beliefs and family.
I worked from life on large sheets of mitsumata and kozo papers for these works that I colored with blue and black pigments and then sized. The first two drawings are nine feet long; the second two are just under 5 feet.

sumi ink & dye onpaper, 32 x 108 sumi ink & dye on paper, 32 x 108 sumi ink & dyed paper, 29 x 55 sumi ink & dyed paper, 29 x 55