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John and June Allcott Gallery: Dymph de Wild and Corinne Diop, Evoking Spirits

Dymph de Wild, Spirit 1 (photograph of a ragged sculpted scarecrow figure at the edge of a plowed field); Corinne Diop, Leaf/Shoot (photograph of a green shoot and leaf and its shadow against a rock)

De Wild and Diop work with materials and processes to evoke impermanence, questions of aesthetic value, a sense of disequilibrium and loss from displacement and the juxtaposition of disparate and revered images, surfaces and textures. Both women teach studio art at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Dymph de Wild: “During my art residency in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 2019, I foraged for and collected found materials on the bare and buried landscapes that were scattered around that metropolis. My mission was to shine a spotlight on the inhumane and ongoing displacement of peoples who inhabit increasingly development-valuable land in Addis Ababa. By creating a body of work with the found materials, I wanted to pay homage to all of the displaced people. After my show there that I called Ephemerals I re-installed my sculptures back on the sites where I had gathered their components. My intention in leaving them there to re-weather was to extend awareness of the disappearing communities.  Now, for this exhibition, I have printed and collaged images from Ethiopia to further evoke the spirits of the displaced native residents whose fates are being swallowed by 21st century foreign investment.  My choice to layer collage elements onto the surfaces of my printed images represents an action that furthers the reverence I feel for those communities.”

Corinne Diop: “Memories, flashbacks and imaginings are conjured as I reclaim and recombine the assortment of objects that have found their way to me. Some of the items are from my own past, forming a memorial of loved ones or life stages, while others, the original owners unknown, are now mine to imagine a narrative for as I arrange, scan, photograph, print, add elements and re-photograph. Even after this iterative process of many stages, those who once used these objects seem to stay connected with them beyond the possible organic imprint (fingerprints, DNA). Evoking spirits, I become aware of the intermingling of presence and non-presence as states of being.”

Dymph de Wild was born in the Netherlands and immigrated to the US in 2006. She received her BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and holds an MFA from James Madison University. Growing up, de Wild would build tree houses in a nearby forest or tent-like structures to perform hocus pocus tricks for the neighbors. This sense of play is visible in her practice. De Wild has been working and exhibiting in the US, Europe and Africa as a conceptual visual artist. In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, de Wild collected materials from the bare and buried landscapes surrounding the metropolis. Her intent was to shine a light on the ongoing inhumane displacement of peoples who inhabit increasingly valuable land (in terms of development) in Addis Ababa. She paid homage to the displaced through the exhibition Ephemerals in Ethiopia this year.  After the show, she re-installed the sculptures back on the sites where she had gathered their components. In leaving them there to weather, to be found or to be taken, she extended the possibility for awareness of the disappearing communities.  For Evoking Spirits, de Wild has printed and collaged images from Ethiopia to evoke the spirits of the displaced who are being swallowed by 21st century foreign investment.

Corinne Diop’s practice employs outdoor installations of found objects and fabrics, along with large photographic documentation of them that are exposed to the elements for a year or more. She exhibits the sun-faded photographs and weathered objects and then scans and (re)photographs them, exploring impermanence in relation to the photographic archive and questioning aesthetic value. Memories, flashbacks and imaginings are conjured as she reclaims and recombines the assortment of objects that find their way to her. Some items are from her past, becoming a memorial to loved ones or to stages of her life, while others – the original owners unknown – provide a means with which to imagine a narrative as she arranges, weathers, scans, photographs, prints, and re-photographs. Even after this iterative process of many stages, those who once used these objects seem to stay connected with them beyond the possible organic imprint (fingerprints, DNA).

Admission: Free
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm

Image credit: Dymph de Wild, Spirit 1, Archival Pigment Print with Collage, 24”x18”, 2019; Corinne Diop, Leaf/Shoot, Archival Pigment Print with Collage, 20” x 16”, 2019; Courtesy of the artists

 

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