Leave No Trace
Works by Sariah Park
January 11 – March 15, 2024
Virtual Panel Discussion: Thursday, January 25, 7–8 p.m. Required Registration Link
Closing Reception: Thursday, March 14, 6–7:30 p.m.
Sariah Park is an interdisciplinary artist of European and Indigenous descent, and is an enrolled member of the Chiricahua Apache Nation. Issues of identity, culture, and the act of making in relation to the future of our climate are examined in her work. During her process, she asks important questions, such as:
- How does our identity inform what and how we make?
- How, what, and why do we consume?
- What are the effects of overconsumption on the environment?
- Is there beauty and transformation through pain, decay and loss?
This exhibition features monotype prints that repurposes textile stock, up-cycling, and new forms of printing with textile waste. Park states, “This work shows the transformation of material made immaterial, craft as a form of ceremony, and the transfer of energy and spirit into a living process, striving to become in balance with the natural world.”
We respond to our physical world through objects. They hold memory and tell stories. Park’s exhibition lays bare a decayed wasteland of artifacts. It might be viewed as abandoned remnants from peoples’ forgotten past holding their histories. Or, It could be viewed as beautiful objects in the act of transforming from one physical entity to another. Park states her work is intended to act “as a method of healing from inherited trauma. My pieces express both pain and loss, but also beauty in transcendence…This work acts as an extension of my personhood and identity, showcasing the complexity of history, time and memory.”
Monotype Prints: What are they? How are they created? Why are they so interesting in this exhibition?
“Mono” = one. Many of you understand a painting is original, monoprints are also original and unique. Usually there is only one of them created. Occasionally you can get two, but they will be different from each other.
Monoprinting uses a hard substrate, (perhaps a piece of metal or a piece of plexiglass or a piece of glass) some type of hard surface, non-absorbent that is placed on a table. Next, artists use paint, ink, or some kind of medium to draw, paint, and apply to the substrate. Additionally, artists may place objects on the substrate—in this case the artist takes remnants of textiles—and arranges them in a composition. Next, perhaps more paint, ink or other type of medium might be applied to these objects and/or the background. Next, the artist takes a piece of paper (the size of the paper depends on the press) and places it on top of the substrate and the objects (a kind of sandwich between the piece of paper at the top, the objects and medium in between, and the hard substrate underneath). You take this “sandwich” and run it through a printing press. The press presses the “sandwich” really hard transferring the contents to the top paper (sometimes making indentation or “embossments”). Once pressed, you take the paper and peel it off. The resulting print is a monotype print. Note: whenever you create monotype prints the final print is a reverse of the composition.
In this exhibition, Park uses remnants of textiles, or creates new textiles from remnants. She is utilizing leftovers from the fast fashion industry to create something new, rather than just throw them away immediately. Reusing them leaves no trace, or creates a new trace from them highlighting the problem with fashion’s waste.
Everybody brings their own experiences to artwork in an exhibition. You can see all sorts of things when you view the fine details. Fabric filaments might be sea creatures, or biological types of images. Patterns are reminiscent of Native cultures or other cultures from the past or present. What’s interesting about this work is an artist took something that was garbage and turned it into something beautiful.
Sariah Park’s Experience and Accolades
Park has over 19 years of experience working in the textile industry. She sees first-hand what overconsumption has created in relation to our planet, our economy, and the stories we tell ourselves. From a very early age, she was connected to fashion by learning how to sew from her grandmother. Her college education brought her to Parsons School of Design. After graduating, she worked for Barney’s of New York. Her life-long commitment to working with textiles has provided her with an intimate knowledge of how textiles and fashion can construct and deconstruct identity, economies, and the natural world.
Park is a winner of the Gold Thimble Award for screen-printed and handwoven designs. She has been featured in Hyperallergic, the Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily, Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. She is a recent recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Fellowship in 2019, as well as artist grants from Creative Capital, Foundation for the Arts, and the CERF+. Her work is included in portfolios, traveling exhibitions, and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Ms. Park recently partnered with the Ohr-o’Keefe Museum of Art to raise capital for scholarships for East Biloxi Mississippi children. The partnership resulted in Cat Walk Under the Oaks, an exhibition that celebrated Indigenous heritage and the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion. Visit Sariah Park’s website for more artwork and information.