Pittsburgh Center for the Arts: April 16-June13 / by Thea Augustina

Last night opened my solo show at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. The show features the "It Is Never Tomorrow' photograph series along with two new sculpture pieces, The slings and arrow of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of trouble and Ye mourners who in silent gloom. The show runs until June 13. My artist talk is Sunday, May 16 at 1pm. I would like to thank the Shady Oak Foundation, A Few Bad Apples Foundation, The Lovely Ladies Baking Team, and my Grandpa for making this show possible.

This sculpture piece gets its title from Shakespear's Hamlet and his famous soliloquy in Act 3, scene 1. "Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. To die, to sleep-'

The speakers are playing two compositions by Estonian composer Arvo Part- Te Deum and Silouans Song- at the same time.

The nautical flag is one used by British Captain McClintock's sledge team on their hunt for clues about the fate of the John Franklin Expedition of 1845. The biscuits are a version of hard tack.

This sculpture's title, Ye mourners who in silent gloom, comes from the phrase found on a package of funeral biscuits from England in the mid 1800's.

It became custom to hand out biscuit style cookies as a 'take home' gift from funerals during this time period. It is the phrase that is spelled out through the black nautical flags on the tree form.

The suitcase + globe form has both a humidity gage and temperature gage on either end of it.

And a few of the 'It Is Never Tomorrow' photographs already found on my website-

The following is my artist statement for this show.

Out of whose womb came the ice?
And the hoary frost of Heaven, who hath gendered it?
The waters are hid as with a stone,
And the face of the deep is frozen.

Book of Job, the Bible

Inisiaqpunga and the waking scours archived documentary, poetic inventions, and phantasms of personal imagination. The installation reflects on a lonesome wandering, high in the Arctic, in search of ghosts and belongings left from the famed Sir John Franklin Expedition of 1845. Sent as the largest and most technically advanced of its time, the British expedition sought to finalize the Northwest Passage to the Pacific as well as to obtain calculations around magnetic north pole. The story pauses on the deathly silence of the entire 133-member crew by 1847, and gathers momentum as search and rescue expeditions spilled into the Arctic seeking clues to their disappearance.

Just as the ice covers, it reveals

Over 150 years, seasonal freezing and thawing hid and uncovered objects and tragic histories surrounding the expedition’s fate. And as a result, the threaded fingers of a map filled up with intricate coastlines, Inuit populations encountered, and inventions and communication methods appropriated or generated. The western shroud over the Arctic was rent from the globe.

Not here, the white north has thy bones

In the Inuktitut language, inisiaqpunga describes the act of following a lone trail left by an occasional traveler. Inisiaqpunga and the waking seeks not to retell but rather to pursue the emotional voice, the soliloquy and lament, for a tragic narrative.