Friday, July 27th from 5:30-7:30pm, our July Visiting Artist in Residence will present seven large hand-colored etchings, created during Winter 2012 and her month long residency at AS220.
At the AS220 Project Space, 93 Mathewson St, Providence, RI
Musician, Sakiko Mori will play a live interpretation of the Bee Madrigal at the opening. Thematically relevant refreshments will be served.
Mollie currently lives and works in Iowa City, where she recently completed her MFA in printmaking/drawing at the University of Iowa. Prior to this, she received a BFA in printmaking at MICA in Baltimore, and lived for several years in NYC. Mollie is well-known in the indie comics / small press scene, as a co-founder and active member of the Baltimore-based Closed Caption Comics and an editor and illustrator at Lightful Press. She has exhibited work in Boston, Baltimore, NYC, San Francisco, Columbus, and Iowa City.
Regarding the work on exhibition Mollie says, “My current body of work examines 17th century polymath Charles Butler’s ‘The Feminine Monarchie,’ a treatise on the subject of beekeeping, as a primary text. Though Butler’s writing was practical and relevant to beekeepers for several centuries following its publication, it also contains an eccentric transliteration of tone pitches produced by bees into a four-part madrigal, complete with lyrics and presented in an inverted choir-book format. I find Butler relevant on account of his projection of a very human system (written music) onto something innately non-human as a means of attempting to understand and translate it. There is a beauty in the absurdity and irony of his approach, and it speaks to an era of Western history in which the lines between music and natural philosophy could be commonly blurred.
“Drawing on the gaps within my own understanding of bees, music, and the world Butler inhabited, I am in the process of completing a series of hand-colored etchings that narrate and reinterpret the composition and performance of Melissomelos, or the Bees’ Madrigal. These filter imagery and print methods that would not seem out of keeping with the time and place that they depict through a personal and contemporary lens. In composing these prints, I have thought a great deal about translation as a means of re-contextualizing and redefining that which is being translated in the process of making it understandable to one’s contemporaries, and have thus framed the central narrative with imagery pertaining to both colony collapse disorder, which currently threatens honeybees, and drone warfare in playful reference to the disparate dictionary definitions of ‘drone.’ In much the same way as a medieval Book of Hours, the sparsely colored frame images seek to guide the eye of the viewer through the sequential narrative, and assist in its reading.
“In prefacing his transliteration, Butler is fully confident at succeeding in his endeavor, to paraphrase, ‘But I am sure, if I miss, I miss but a little.’ I aspire, in my own way, to do the same.”