Rebecca Cummins and Stephanie Simek
“Lumina” references both light and a cavity or opening. Simek and Cummins respond to this dual meaning: the measurement of illumination and its lack.
- March 2 - 30, 2023
- Opening: Thursday, March 2, 6:00 — 8:00pm
Artist Talk: Thursday, March 30, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Holes are relational, referential objects. Their size, beginning, and end are dependent on the material that surrounds them. Can a hole take on its own identity, independent of its host? Can a substance riddled with holes instead be perceived as one continuous, meandering (w)hole? These elusive interpretations in the fields of mathematics and philosophy provide the conceptual starting point for Stephanie Simek’s multimedia works. Considering absence and emptiness as her primary material, she explores the generative potential of the void.
Light and its absence also inform Rebecca Cummins’ work. Where is Midnight? was realized on the summer solstice in 2021 in Finnish Lapland during 24-hour daylight. Cummins enlisted herself as the gnomon (an object whose shadow serves as a time indicator on a sundial) and recorded her shadow by drone at both solar midnight and solar noon. The juxtaposition invites a unique consideration of how the Earth’s movements affect light occurrences specific to the time of day, time of year and to geographic location. Spore Drift documents mushroom spore prints created during the pandemic. Over time, spores fall from the mushroom caps, producing a fine powder that varies in color and character. Cummins says, “In this magical process, it’s as if the mushrooms are drawing themselves on the paper provided. The images formed by the cast-off spores resemble photographic negatives; they seem to contain light, both cosmic and spectral. Moreover, each print features a black hole, evidence of an excised stem, further accentuating the otherworldly quality of these abstract configurations.”
Presented together, these photographs and sculptures serve as a complement, a simultaneous index of where something is and where something isn’t.
About the Artists
Stephanie Simek has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 2007. Using a wide array of materials, she makes works in two dimensions, three dimensions, time, and sound. Projects have included a room-sized crystal radio, self-assembling keys, and an observatory tower in Corinth, Vermont. She received a BFA from Rutgers University and an MFA from the University of Washington. Simek has made exhibitions and had residencies at Signal Culture, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Veronica Project Space, Melanie Flood Projects, PDX Contemporary, Littman Gallery at Portland State University, Feldman Gallery at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Fairbanks Gallery at Oregon State University, and Jacob Lawrence Gallery at University of Washington.
Rebecca Cummins explores light and natural phenomena in installations that have included a machine for making rainbows, sun and moon pointers, paranoid dinner table devices–and a variety of photographic and sculptural approaches to marking time. Active in public art and collaborations, she has also exhibited widely in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Finland, Chile, the UK, South Korea, China, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, and Germany. Cummins received a BFA, University of Northern Iowa, an MFA, University of New Mexico and a Doctorate, University of Technology, Sydney. She is a Professor in the School of Art + Art History + Design, University of Washington, Seattle. Support for this work was received from the Milliman Endowment Fund, School of Art, the Kreielsheimer Grant for Research Excellence, Division of Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, UW and the Ars Bioartica Residency, Bioart Society, Kilpisjärvi Biological Station of the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland.