Solo Exhibition - Cultivator at Bray Grove Farm
Sunday, September 23, 2018, 2-5pm. Please rsvp.
Cultivator is pleased to present an exhibition by Chicago artist, Connie Noyes, during Bray Grove Farm's Autumn Farm Day. She will create an emotion-packed installation in our unfinished attic space from the grief and pain she has suffered with the deaths of her husband, her father, and her companion dog. A testament to one's ability to mourn, understand, and live on, her intense, meditative, process-driven installation incites a haunting calmness.
Connie Noyes describes this installation: I realized I’d built a vertical grave for my husband, father, and dog Persi, whose unconditional support helped me through the illness and loss of the two most important men in my life. Eight feet long and built of sod, the wall was taking shape. Having reached a height of five feet, it stood heavy and immobile—like grief itself. As I was adding the sixth and final foot, a semi-truck sped past my studio building, creating an earthquake. The wall fell in the aftershock.
Staring in disbelief at a half ton of sod covering my studio floor, mostly brown and already composting, all I could do was laugh. In that split second, I realized this structure was simply a metaphor for the wall I had built around my own heart, so I wouldn’t have to feel the pain of loss. I don’t believe in accidents; the fall gave me permission to play with the broken pieces to create something that I hadn’t originally intended. With my work reincarnated from the decaying debris, I began anew. Through experimentation with new materials and methods of working, I developed private rituals of mourning. Labor and time intensive works made in the studio are a form of meditation and a counterbalance to painful emotions. Whether I hand mend cloth degraded with bleach, wrap objects with thousands of yards of thread until the objects all but disappear, or practice Butoh, these are transformative acts with the capacity to move the chaos of grief into a place of stillness.
Please rsvp and join us on Sunday, September 23rd from 2-5pm for art and conversation along with a tour of the farm. Bray Grove Farm is located 70 miles southwest of Chicago in Grundy County. To confirm your attendance and receive directions and parking information, email.
Connie Noyes is a multidisciplinary artist born in Washington DC. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a MA in psychology from Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, California and a BA from Virginia Intermont College. She views her work and her life as one in the same, making personal, yet universal, affective encounters visible.
This year, 2018 she was a recipient of a DCASE Individual Artist Grant for New Work. In collaboration with sound artist Beth Bradfish she created an interactive installation on Governors Island, NYC supported by the HARVESTWORKS TEAM and recently completed a residency with TransArt in Berlin, Germany. In 2016, she was an artist-in-residence with Salwa Zeidan Gallery, for Art Abu Dhabi, and at IRT Theater in New York City, with playwright Pamela Enz. She was chosen for the Center Program at the Hyde Park Art Center where she is currently a resident artist. While homesteading in Western Kentucky, she received the Al Smith Fellowship award from the Kentucky Arts Council in 2007, in addition to several professional development grants from that organization. Her work has been exhibited at the Third Biennale International d’art non-objective in Grenoble, France; Mana Contemporary, Chicago; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Noyes Cultural Center, Evanston; and Art Bahrain. Residencies include: ChaNorth, New York; the Emaar International Art Symposium, Dubai (where she was invited to paint for the Burj Dubai); Thupelo International Workshop, Cape Town, South Africa; and the 5th International Visual Arts Symposium, Monastir, Tunisia.
Noyes' work is in the collection of The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; The Ekstrom Library of Photographic Archives Special Collections, Louisville, Kentucky; and the Greenville County Museum, South Carolina. Her project, Under the Freeway, was chosen as a featured project for Chicago Artists Month 2015 – The City as Studio. Her current project, Good Mourning Café (2016-), a safe place to be sad, is enacted as a traveling art installation, social experiment, and community outreach program which will continue to pop-up in various locations around Chicago including Garfield Park where she is currently working on a project with the Chicago Park District.
Click on the images below to view them larger.