These works on paper were created during a residency in North Iceland, late in the winter of 2020. A series of epic snowstorms piled up snow like a fortress around the studio, and I enjoyed a long, uninterrupted period of quiet, inward-turned work. The spell broke in mid-March, in a hectic scramble to return home to Philadelphia on one of the last flights out of Reykjavik, by way of Boston, because EWR and JFK had closed.
These images trace a period of creative research that synthesizes historic references to Pennsylvania anthracite, and injects re-imagined meaning to the way we read the past and think about the future. Anthracite has a lot to say about the looping nature of time, it is a material present and in process in multiple dimensions.
In the Herhus studio I listened to Alec Guinness read TS ELIOT Four Quartets over and over. I listened to Zola’s Germinal. I watched the snow fall and I shoveled snow. I read about Icelandic turf-house traditions, and studied the archaeological tracings of the structures’ Earth-rooted forms. I imagined the bulk of the turf houses speaking with the voids in the underground anthracite mines, as if space and time did not matter.