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An Exhibition by Heather Swenson
on view November 6-28, 2020
Fold Line investigates the space within an envelope and the wide range of security tints that line their interiors. Through the use of scale, pattern and shape I explore the connection between these everyday objects and the spaces we inhabit.
Envelopes are one of the most common forms of packaging and we encounter them daily. This ubiquity acts as camouflage hiding their unexpected, often extraordinary, interiors in plain sight. Seven years ago, I began to notice that almost every envelope I got in the mail revealed a new pattern. These small, daily moments of wonder led to a slow accumulation of over 100 unique patterns that now make up the book Security Tints: a pocket guide to envelope interiors. Alongside this book, I started to play with these patterns outside their original context of the envelope. I employed them in screenprints, folded my own envelope facsimiles and explored how security tints could function as three dimensional protective screens for humans.
Through the use of pattern, shape, and scale, Fold Line investigates the space within an envelope and how it relates to the structures we inhabit. The compact, portable space inside an envelope only becomes activated when opened. Similarly, a tent unfolds to create an interior from something that was once flat, providing temporary storage and shelter for its inhabitants. With just a few folds, much like an envelope, this tangible space is easily returned to its initial two dimensional state. By folding and unfolding, a space can disappear just as easily as it was created.
Tents have always been captivating structures for me, both in my personal life and artistic practice. Pitching a tent, whether out in the woods or set up as a fort indoors, gives me a chance to leave my current surroundings and step into a space that previously did not exist. When superimposed with the protective screen of a security tint, these portable structures create a space in which one can be briefly invisible.
– Heather Swenson
Heather Swenson is a multidisciplinary artist working and living in Rochester, New York. She attended IEA’s Experimental Projects Residency, a NYSCA funded program at Alfred University and has shown work in multiple exhibitions around Rochester and elsewhere. Most recently, she was commissioned to produce a large scale public art installation for Rochester Contemporary Art Center. She teaches screen printing workshops at her studio and gives demonstrations for the members of the Print Club of Rochester. Heather is also the Exhibition Manager of the organization. She received her BFA in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts with a concentration in Painting and Printmaking from Purchase College of Art and Design in 2012.