Location: Artspace Gallery on the CSN North Las Vegas Campus
Dates: September 22 – Saturday, November 4, 2017
Preview, Artist Talk & Artist Reception: Thursday, September 21, 6 p.m.
Artist Statement: “Secondary Nature”
The conceptual direction of the series secondary nature explores aspects of human intervention relative to the landscape; intersections of public and private, nature vs. the built environment, literal and metaphorical boundaries that protect as well as isolate. Acknowledging that place suggests an experiential encounter and space points to the unknown, these images invoke the dichotomy of an intimate encounter against the distanced backdrop of foreign observation. Though they involve a highly detailed transcription of place, they are, in one sense, more about the act of looking than a narrative about place. They operate within a perpetually passing moment–ambiguous fragments of the material world.
They are part of a larger, ongoing series entitled borrowed views, after the Japanese shakkei, and utilize the stylized perspective strategies in traditional eastern landscape painting and seventeenth century Japanese garden design. In the new series, I chose the title to draw parallels between the notion of differentiated natures, with references to first nature (instinct) and second nature (culture). In some sense, I am searching for an idealized landscape on these islands that is reflective of the garden: highly manipulated, tightly controlled and cultivated; offering a mediated interaction with the natural world while contextualizing it within a broader topographical and conceptual framework.
Martina Shenal is an Associate Professor in the Photography division at the School of Art at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She earned her MFA degree from Arizona State University in Tempe and her BFA degree from The Ohio State University in Columbus.
Shenal has received numerous grants and fellowships including a Western States Art Federation/National Endowment for the Arts Regional Fellowship in New Genres, a Visual Art Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission, multiple Professional Development Grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and a Contemporary Forum Artists Material Grant from the Phoenix Art Museum. Selected solo exhibitions of her work have been held at Place M Gallery, Tokyo, Whittier College, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, State University of New York-Brockport, University of California Berkeley Extension Gallery, and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.