Susan Tyler JenkinsAlumnus
Vitality and Vulnerability
Inspired by the city of Utrecht, I’m developing installation work for specific sites integrated with this urban/rural environment. Strongly felt here is the presence of spaces throughout the urban landscape that are in dialogue with “nature,” especially the waterways. I conceived several potential projects around this theme, one of which was “Dialogue with a River” – a “guide tour” encounter I tried with my colleagues as participants, on a unique island where the Kromme Rijn splits into two arms encircling the old city.
I live on the water as well. Through a daily involvement with form and fabrication, I have begun sculpting natural materials found in my yard--the red-brown branches that fall from a sequoia sempervirens (a/k/a California Redwood), which my neighbors planted here 30 years ago. These discarded things are still alive with shape, scent, elementality. Shaping it is relevant as an artistic mode of exploration in a world dominated not by tradition but by digital realities and expedited novelty. In parallel I’m making abstract forms from paper and wire based on the armor templates I created last year, for installation as sculpture and for outdoor interventions.
Can we cultivate the senses as open channels where communication is multi-directional and in continuous flux, yet somehow still offers stability? Making spatial installations, I hope to momentarily disrupt visitors' habitual seeing and create an opening for alternative experiences of the environment and self.
September, 2016: At HKU I am exploring themes of armor, of repositioning humans within all sentience, of disturbing our individual and collective reference points, of comfort with vulnerability.