We begin with one of our favorite Residency Artists, Robert Hardgrave (but then they're all our favorite).
This summer was Robert's fourth time around on the Duwamish Residency. His studio practice primarily includes an exploration of drawing and painting through varied and unexpected mediums. Sometimes they become three-dimensional. As he roamed about the east side of Duwamish River he set aside his usual tools after the debris of the industrial landscape that caught his eye. The multicolored shapes and pieces of rope accumulated in his bag. Although his specific intention was still unknown to the rest of us we were aware that he collected with purpose. What emerged were several site specific installations that, once photographed, were immediately dismantled. They were playful while still evoking the mechanical industry that throbs nearby.
Here's what Robert has to say about his experience:
Exploring a foreign environment, trying to make sense of what is seen and felt, while trying to synthesize the experience in form and line, brought me to make unusual decisions about how that could happen. Photographing garbage arrangements in select locations while exploring new places feels like play. Applying these discoveries to my current practice, I feel I have ample information to harvest throughout the coming year.
Robert Hardgrave, born in Oxnard, CA, raised in southern AZ, has been a Seattle resident for the past 22 years. He is in the practice of old fashioned drawing and painting. Improvisation is his strength and he enjoys employing "mixed" media whenever he can. Robert has been published in numerous artist survey books and magazines in addition to a monograph of his own work called “Magic Beans”.
I am constantly in search of those ideas that can be pushed in multiple directions and still push back. I want to be challenged in such a way where the evolution of ideas flow, keeping me excited to stay in the studio day after day.
I change mediums on a consistent basis and process each to a point where I feel proficient. This helps ideas feel fresh and uncharted. Each new medium requires unique allowances; I want materials to guide the work toward what it is going to be, while maintaining a consistent language across media. I believe that by allowing only a few variables to exist, the materials are forced to reveal their nuances. This permits my personal vocabulary to speak louder, conducing cross-pollination between media, where ideas, discovery and surprise reign supreme. This is my ultimate goal.