What Lies Beneath September 2 - 30 2019 Asher Grey Gallery
Works by artists Kate Crook & Meghan Crandall. A unique vision of the desert landscape through assemblage, drawing, prints & etchings.
A series of drawings and etchings (2014 to 2016) inspired by traveling to the desert landscape of The Joshua Tree National Park in California.
Two desert landscapes determined by elevation, come together in the park. Few areas more vividly illustrate the contrast between ‘high desert’ and ‘low desert’. Below 3,000 feet (910 m) the Colorado Desert (part of the Sonoran Desert ) occupies the eastern half of the park. The higher, slightly cooler and wetter Mojave Desert is the special habitat of the Joshua Tree, extensive stands of which occur throughout the western half of the park. The survival of the Joshua Tree (Yucca Brevifolice is a member of the Agave family) depends on well-timed rains and a crisp winter frost: birds, mammals, reptiles and insects depend on this tree for food and shelter. The Desert has a fragile eco system. Plant and animal life rely on each other.
The extraordinary and beautiful landscape is unique. The desert light on the plants and trees create pattern and shapes that provide the inspiration for this body of work.
BORN 22nd October 1954
2005-2007 Postgraduate Diploma in Painting, City & Guilds of London Art
1972-1976 BA in Visual Communication, Brighton Polytechnic (Brighton University)
1971-1972 Foundation Brighton Polytechnic (Brighton University)
1970-1971 Introductory Year Croydon College of Art
My recent assemblage photographs were inspired by my first art retreat to Joshua Tree, CA in 2014. Venturing on long walks into the hills, I noticed unusual bits of windblown flora and flotsam, partially hidden in the sand, overlooked and forgotten. I was intrigued and humbled by the worn textures and muted colors that are naturally created in the desert over time, and their innate ability to convey the desert's harsh yet quiet story. I began collecting, composing and photographing, and continued to do so back home in Seattle – in my yard, neighborhood, at local parks, on trips – I’m always on the lookout. I'm drawn to how the simple objects we might find on a daily walk speak volumes about our culture and environment.
My process begins by collecting an abundance of these unassuming and intriguing bits and pieces, usually in a specific area and over a short period of time. Back in the studio, I select shapes, colors and textures that swim together in harmony, arranging and rearranging until a thoughtful composition emerges – one that conveys an unusual story about a place or passing season. My hope is to compose them just enough, but not so much that they become something else. To me, each piece has a subtle beauty all its own that I want to showcase and share. I'm especially drawn to the tiniest details, like escaped seeds and hidden spiders that end up in the frame unexpectedly. I design my assemblages on hand-painted panels that are reminiscent of subtle, timeworn surfaces, then capture them with precise lighting and photography. Once I have created and photographed an assemblage, an important part of my process is to return most of the found pieces to nature, making the photograph the only tangible record of the composition's existence.
Born in 1971, in Seattle, Washington, USA, Meghan Starr Crandall received a BA in Graphic Design in 1994 from Central Washington University. She currently lives in Seattle, WA and is the co-owner of Kick Spark Creative. Design and photography have been at the center of her practice for more than 25 years