Wednesday, March 07, 2012

TAM Docents: Biennial artists: Matika Wilbur; Allison Hyde

Hello Docents-

Sharon has shared some artist information with us below.

Thank you,



Jana Wennstrom | TACOMA ART MUSEUM

Manager of Public and Volunteer Programs

T: 253.272.4258 x3030



HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture

March 17–June 10, 2012



Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:48 PM
To: Jana Wennstrom
Subject: Biennial artists: Matika Wilbur; Allison Hyde


Hi Jana,
Thought I would send some additional info regarding the above artists to share with my fellow docents.

Matika Wilbur: studied photography at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Montana and the Brooks Institute of Photography in California. She is TulalipTribal member, raised on the Swinomish Indian Reservation.
Originally pursued a career in celebrity photography in Los Angeles, moving on to New York as a fashion photographer, then hiring on with NPR, moving to South America where she photographed indigenous people-it was during that first year that she had a dream involving her grandmother (who had passed on several years prior )  She asked me "What are you doinng photographing their Indians when you haven't even photographed your own?"
She returned home to Swinomish and began asking her Elders questions-"What does it mean to be an Indian?"
Her photography tends to examine stereotypical depictions of Native Peoples and their struggles with the constant cultural duality and defing self-identity.

After sharing a bit about Allison Hyde and her installation in the Biennial: "Mourning the Ephemeral", I received a reply from Allison in response to a few questions I had asked-so thought I would send them on to you.

This is the largest installation piece she has created-"It was quite an exciting and challenging undertaking to transform a much smaller sculptural piece into something large enough to have a presence in a space as large and dynamic as the Wave.  When making decisions regarding what pieces to add to the larger version, I decided to expand my idea of which furniture items interact with our bodies in intimate ways and which of those items are also kept and passed down within families and to seek out old pieces of furniture that could have histories aside from my own to contribute to the piece. Certain pieces of furniture really have stories that they tell, and human interaction and sense of physical history that is implied, and that is why I chose to include elements like the piano and large armoire.  Many of the items were collected from estate sales, implying the death and passing on of the owner, and also from thrift stores or street corners, abandoned and forgotten. The piece was very much about accumulation and desire to preserve our identities and history through the generations, but inevitably memories are lost and all we have left are traces of scratches on the edge of a chair or initials on a jewelry box that give hints of the past and stories that preceeded us."

The positioning of the items was mostly intuitive.  "I wanted to create a sense of movement and chaos within the piece while simultaneously giving the the piece a solidity and mass of black that the viewers eye could

become lost in, giving the opportunity for self reflection.  Objects like pianos are often at the heart of a family and act to recall specific people and events."

Printmaking is still a very big part of her practice-finding ways to integrate print work with the more sculptural or installation pieces.

She's recently been teaching drawing, an experimental printmaking class, and as acrylic mixed media class.  "I love sharing my enthusiasm for art and printmaking with my students." Instructs at University of Oregon.

Have a good day,
Sharon B.


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