An extemporaneous investigation into creative impetus through physical travel and virtual acquisition with Adrienne Kammerer.
You started this series of drawings while away at a residency. Where were you and how did that environment affect your work?
I was in Itoshima for 2 months, a town on the western edge of Fukuoka, Japan. I was staying in a small house in a rural farming area next to the sea. Every day I would bike 30 minutes to the closest 7eleven to get food and then spend the rest of the day listening to audio books and drawing. I would sometimes go a week without talking to anyone apart from maybe a brief exchange with the 7eleven clerk. I was amazed at how much work you can get done once you remove all outside distractions.
There is an amazing quality of light in your new drawings. Can you tell us about the materials and techniques used to create them?
My materials have remained the same (mechanical pencils, paper and kneadable erasure) but I spend less time trying to make things photo realistic as in previous work.
You seem to be influenced both by the past and the future. How do the compositions for your pieces come together?
I’m a virtual hoarder. I probably don’t ever have less than 15 tabs open and I have folders and folders of reference images mostly from the internet or photo’s taken from museums or iPhone snaps taken from books. I haven’t been in one place for any length of time so it hasn’t been practical for me to keep a collection of actual books anymore although I really love anything from the Dover Pictorial Archive. Usually when I create the compositions for my work I just drag and drop different reference elements into photoshop until I I find something that works. The larger images are composed of maybe 10-25 images I’ve manipulated into a new narrative, and from there I start drawing.
I noticed a continuity in some of the landscape elements within your drawings. Are the pieces part of a larger world? Or does each drawing depict it’s own environment and narrative?
I like to think of it as both. Something akin to Narnia and it’s multiverse of worlds where passage between the worlds is rare but possible or similar to King’s Road depicted in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell which once you find your way onto the road you can access infinite realms within the kingdom.
Dangersome Dreaming, 2015 Graphite on paper. 7 x 10 in.
What websites are you currently into?
tumblr mostly. 😉
I was thinking about nightmares and childhood fears that stay with us into adulthood when curating this show. Are there certain images or experiences (real or imagined) that have stayed with you in life? If so, do they find a way into your drawings?
As a kid I would occasionally stay with my grandparents for the weekend. The house was built in the middle of 50 acres of wooded forest and my bed was positioned directly across the room from my grandfathers collection of animal skulls. Raccoons lived in the attic and coyotes would howl through the night. If I slept at all it was guaranteed to be a sleep filled with nightmares. I’m sure this probably instilled some sort of love for the macabre later in life.
Even though your drawings could be described as gothic or fantasy related, they are also comedic and self aware. Can you tell us more of your motivations behind creating these?
I have a hard time taking things seriously. I don’t think i would be capable of making work that was too self-serious.
A Fevered Undertaking, 2015 Graphite on paper. 16.25 x 11.5 in.
A Terrible Alliance , 2015 Graphite on paper. 19.5 x 13.5 in.
You travel extensively and often visit extremely strange places. What are your top picks for weirdest travel destinations?
Yakushima (Japan), best known as the place that inspired the setting of Hayao Miyazaki’s film Princess Mononoke.
Kagaya (Japan), a performance art Izakaya.
The Site of Reversible Destiny (Japan), bizarre and kinda dangerous “experience park”.
Haesindang (Korea), a giant penis themed park.
Wang Saen Suk (Thailand), hell torture theme park.
Sedlec Ossuary (Czech Republic), the interior of the church is made up entirely of human skeletons.
Musee Dupuytren (France), a collection of malformed foetuses, skeletons and human organs.
What creatures or beasts (real or imagined) are most dear to you?
I love yokai, the supernatural monsters depicted in Japanese folklore, the strange creatures and demons painted by Hieronymus Bosch, the etchings found in the Dictionaire Infernal…
The Troublesome Tailwagger, 2015 Graphite on paper. 7 x 10 in. unframed, 10.25 x 13.5 in. framed
Did you dress up for Halloween this year? If so, can we see a picture of your costume?
I went as an sort of raver/anime character (??) but got hit in the face with a bag of blood from the live birth component of one of the bands that was playing that night. Unfortunately i didn’t get any good pictures of that, but later in night I switched to Double Butthead costume with my friend Sonya.
Adrienne Kammerer, along with artists Ryan Travis Christian, David Jien, and Toshio Saeki, examine storytelling through the channeling of subconscious narratives in the latest exhibition:Happily Until Their Deaths