New Year: New Show: And still lots of work in progress / by Thea Augustina

Welcome 2011. Lots of articles, news, books to catch up on! Lots of work still in progress!

I woke up this morning to find that my show at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts last April has been included into the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's Art & Cultures writer Mary Thomas's 'Best of 2010'. A nice thing to see first thing in the morning!

On another note, I will be showing new work at the Earlville Opera House in Earlville NY from February 26- April 2. The show will feature Chapter 2 in the 5 part installation series I am creating based on Sir Ernest Shackleton's Endurance expedition in the Antarctic. The work culls from two scenes: when 8 Emperor penguins mysteriously appeared as the ship, the Endurance, was sinking into the icy depths leaving the men finally truly abandoned. The penguins dirge-like calls were ones that the men had never heard before. The second scene is when Shackleton and his five chosen men set sail on their 800+ mile open-water journey, leaving the remainder of the crew to fend for themselves on Elephant Island. The drastic view from both the stranded and the journeying-forth is humming with energy: That moment when both are staring at the other, recognizing the other.

I see these two scenes as tipping points for hope + loss. Both scenes possess a deep intimacy with the possibility of forthcoming death. They radiate with the notion of a polar environment swallowing whole and leaving no trace. The moment when the human recognizes an intimacy with Emptiness. And I love how the Emperor penguins with their strange instincts play a part in that for the humans.