“Not from nothing…Worldmaking starts from worlds already on hand: the making is a remaking.”– Nelson Goodman (Ways of Worldmaking, 1978)
SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS is pleased to present There’s A Shape In These Hills I Know, an exhibition of new work by San Francisco based artist Amber Jean Young. This will be Young’s first solo show in Los Angeles and will feature fabric sculptures, quilts, and wall hangings.
Young’s recent work explores place and memory through the combination of photography and quilting. Her interest in quilting is influenced by the practice’s long history in the domestic sphere. Inspired by the landscape of her childhood house and surrounding environment, Young prints photographs she took of her rural Northern California homeland onto fabric. She plays with color, contrast, and aspect ratio in the printing process to create varied versions of the same image. The printed fabric is then cut apart into a myriad of shapes and the scenery is disassembled.
Young integrates these pieces of fabric into her quilts, visually restructuring her memory of the landscape as montages on linen. Her choice of linen and upholstery fabric as the base material, as well as her practice of quilting, directly reference household items and American traditions.
However, Young takes these references to the home a step further by providing a visual display of how images in memories fade and fragment with each passing moment yet still maintain their strong connection to what was once known, present, and familiar. The photographic strips of fabric represent compositions of her actual childhood residence that have become dissipated or distorted with time. Despite their piecemeal existence, the sense of place and familiarity derived from the original subject matter still feels tangible and present, like a lingering memory or nostalgia that mentally shrouds one in a protective blanket of comfort.
By “remaking” these memories, Young emphasizes what is forgotten as much as she emphasizes what is included. Her work therefore retains a ghostly, contemplative, and folkloric abstraction. This practice is a meditation on the incomplete nature of her personal memories. Each piece is both a homecoming and a departure, possessing a slippage from the real. The process of dismantling a familiar and dear place provides her the opportunity to build new worlds unbridled by reality. The resulting landscape is recognizable but fantastical, familiar but garbled. By traversing recollections of place and personal history, Young contemplates her memory’s inclination to forget.
There’s A Shape In These Hills I Know will be on view at SUBLIMINAL PROJECTS through November 22nd.
Amber Jean Young graduated from Kenyon College with a Bachelor of Arts degree, in 2006. Upon graduation she returned to California and took up residence in San Francisco. She graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute’s Post Baccalaureate program in 2008 and the Master of Fine Art program in 2010. She has exhibited throughout the Bay Area and nationally including Michael Rosenthal Gallery, Ever Gold Gallery, Robert Berman Gallery, and ArtPadSF. She performed her solo exhibition Working at Mauve Office of Exhibition in Berkeley, California, in 2011 and opened her solo exhibition Letters Home at Michael Rosenthal Gallery in June of 2012. She was an Artist In Residence at Djerassi Resident Artist Program in August of 2012, and was nominated for a SECA Award in 2012. Amber Jean has a solo exhibition scheduled at Subliminal Projects, in Los Angeles in October 2014, and a two-person exhibition at Campfire Gallery in San Francisco in December 2014.