Works on paper

Blue Souvenir: memory and wampum, vacation and consciousness from Club Paradise 2019. The prints are cyanotypes, made with sunlight. The photographic process, originally called a 'blueprint,' was used by builders for drawing plans.

 

A souvenir is a memory aide that reminds you of a wonderful experience. In Blue Souvenir, a series of designs remind you that the vacation industry has a blueprint for your consciousness.

 

Remember when you were on vacation? You didn’t have to do anything. You were probably able to attain a high state of relaxation, to alter your consciousness. Maybe you swam in the sea, surfed, skied, did yoga, or hiked or bicycled the coast. You were able to produce wonderful memories of experiences to consume later.

 

You might spend a lot of time remembering a pleasurable vacation. Nostalgia, memory and consciousness are embedded in vacation. And an altered consciousness is a sign of a successful vacation. When you enjoy a memory, you want to produce more. You become a producer and consumer of memory, and, you are a product of memory.

 

Brand marks and logos are memory aides. Maybe the symbols of brands give you as much pleasure as the product. If so, perhaps you’ll do a Google search for more of a brand's products online, thus generating more revenue for Google through your unpaid work in memory and desire.

Cape Cod is a vacation destination ringed with ivory sand beaches covered in purple-edged quahog clam shells. Wampanoag carved the shells into 'wampum beads.' They wove the beads in designs that are records of complicated lineages of tribes, pacts and gatherings in the paradise peninsula 7,000 years before Europeans arrived. One design documents a more recent land arrangement with settlers:

 

'As long as the Sun shines upon this Earth, that is how long OUR Agreement will stand; Second, as long as the Water still flows; and Third, as long as the Grass Grows Green at a certain time of the year. Now we have Symbolized this Agreement and it shall be binding forever as long as Mother Earth is still in motion.'

 

It is interesting to note, if scientists proceed with a plan of blocking sunlight to prevent global warming, and if water dries up and is poisoned with the soil by fracking, pesticides, oil spills, toxic chemicals, Monsanto and jet plane pollution, plastic waste and sunblock, only a dead earth is left spinning. Then this agreement might very well be null and void.

 

'Wampum' did become a word for money. European explorers and settlers used wampum beads along with coin as currency. Later settlers mass produced the beads, flooding the market with predictable results.

 

'My family arrived on the Mayflower,'  describes someone's ancestors' migration on the Mayflower ship from England to Cape Cod. Thus the Mayflower captain's log is a peculiarly American memory aide of lineage.

Sent 2018 is an experimental mail art project with Jeff Crouch. The postcard messages are a secret story without beginning or end. Is a card lost in the mail? Who is writing to whom? What are the motives of writer and recipient? The writing on the back of the cards suggest a narrative different from the usual holiday tourist seeking memories to consume later. Influenced by Derrida’s Postcard, the cards are a secret that serves a purpose we can never know. 6 postcard, original photograph Cape Cod, text, 4 x 6 in., 10.16 x 15.24 cm. http://www.unlikelystories.org/content/sent

In Posted, from Club Paradise, Rafael González, in Tenerife, Spain, returned seven postcards I sent to him from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA.

By chance, a friend gave me an old Cape Verde government public relations cd containing hundreds of photographs of the island. I selected seven photographs to print as postcards. Rafael altered the photograph on the card. On the address side, Rafael stamped it and described his vacation. Or has he? We can not know if his written words are truth, memory, or dream.

The cards hold memories of the printer, two Atlantic trips, my hand, Rafael’s marks, and his story on the paper that was a tree with more memories. The cards have become souvenirs, a memory aide of an experience that may or may not have occurred.

Rafael’s notes are a revealing message. They tell a story that can be compared to the work of dreams. But what is the card trying to tell you?

The cards are trademarked with wings, the messengers wings, maybe even angels’ wings, because angels bear secrets. Yet even if the words are not true, or memories, or a dream, they are a secret message intended for you. Delivered to you from Rafael Gonzalez and Club Paradise. 7 postcards, rubber stamp, drawing, found photographs Cape Verde, text, 4 x 6 in., 10.16 x 15.24 cm. https://www.utsanga.it/cahpman-gonzalez-works/

 

3asemiscapes: when meaning is meaningless, propaganda is meaningless. Asemic and glitch open the door of perception to transform consciousness. Asemic writing, mark-making and drawing are renegade acts, a fuck-off to global corporate-industrial, military-defense, and advertising-media propaganda. They are a revolt against social, thought and image control. Asemic and glitch are soul-food to the starving who wander, mapless and hungry, in the media landscape, pelted by slogans in a terrain without real, truthful or valuable meaning. 3 drawings on Lanaquarelle paper, watercolor 10 x 14 in., 26 x 36 cm. gouache, personal rubber stamps, graphite, ink. https://www.utsanga.it/chapman-works-4/

The Latin American Lucha Libre is a popular performance wrestling match. The fighter has a mask, costume and identity. When the loser loses his mask, he is ’seen.’ The loss tranforms the wrestler's life and image. The most famous luchador, El Santo, was buried in his mask, his face never, ever seen. Here are depicted women wrestlers of Lucha Libre.

 

Lucha LIbre evolves from Aztec religious masks and Mayan ball players of Palenque. The ball court was a mystical place, the entrance to the underworld. The finest, victorious ball players were sacrificed to the gods, eviscerated while breathing, their heart ripped out of their chest by the priest. Working in glitch, I wanted to explore aspects of struggle, image, domination, loss, and transformation. 3 digital prints, found online images, 2018.  http://www.niederngasse.it/rubriche/recensioni/cecelia-chapman-dichiarazione

In Ultima Thule: Horizon, Border and Limits 2018, we see a murky silhouette of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft with (fantasized) sweeping searchlight and dropped ladder in an imaginary horizon. The space vehicle is scheduled to begin exploration of the Kuiper Belt object, 2014 MU69, recently nicknamed Ultima Thule, on Jan. 1, 2019. NASA says it will be the ‘most primitive world’ ever observed, the farthest visit in history.

 

"Ultima Thule” means "beyond Thule,” beyond the borders of the known world. On the drawings we see a small stamp of Thule, the mythical, far-northern island mentioned in ancient Greek and Roman literature, and depicted in medieval cartography. The drawing of Thule dates from 1537. But the Greek explorer Pytheas was the first to write of Thule, after his travels between 330–320 BCE.

 

In the drawings are hybrid creatures medieval voyagers might encounter, illustrations I took from early maps describing Thule. Also you see a ‘folding map’ of Earth and it’s borders. And in these drawings I use asemic writing  to convey the immensity of communication logistics.
 

The horizon separates heaven from earth. The word horizon comes from the Greek horizōn kyklos, "separating circle", from the verb horizō, "to divide", "to separate", and that from oros, "boundary, landmark.”

 

The knowledge of distance to horizon is essential to survival.

Our eyes scan the place where we are in order to establish limits.

If you stand on a high mountain, your eyes can finally see the earth’s edge is curved. 

 

These drawings grow from concern about geo-political complexities associated with "borders,” and the heated race to colonize space. Border complications not resolved on earth will affect territories in space. Perhaps the opportunity to dissolve borders is on the horizon? Can we transform our territorial nature and limits of behavior?

 

(a note: My entire first year in graphic design class we drew black lines with a ruling pen. That is all, lines. Pages of lines, thick and thin so we would be sensitive to the nature of line from an inch away or a mile. This prepared us to communicate and was taught by a refugee Bauhaus teacher with concentration camp numbers and lines on his forearm under his white shirt. It is my understanding of perception, since there are no straight lines in nature except the horizon which is actually curved, that borders, limits, lines of demarcation are learned behavior.) 

Digital Print from Lanaquarelle paper, watercolor 10 x 14 in., 26 x 36 cm. gouache, personal rubber stamps, graphite, ink. https://www.utsanga.it/chapman-ultima-thule-horizon-border-and-limits-2018/   and http://the-otolith.blogspot.com/2018/08/cecelia-chapman.html 

PushDown$Turn drawings 2018 are stamped with the lid of a child proof bottle. The background is a vivid, very un-subtle, camouflage design detail because drugs and consumerism are a battleground. It is overwritten in asemic writing on postcard size cards for you to send. So what’s the message?

Currently nuclear aggression and violent environmental destruction news threatens us non-stop from all our communications systems. Perhaps consciousness needs to be redirected to find solutions to global catastrophe.

The bottle lid graphics direct us to open the container. The opening is in a manner that involves movement, consciousness, and experience, three essential elements that determine life. Evolutionary scientists believe that animals and humans evolved eyesight to avoid collision. This suggests that vision is basically for directing action, not providing knowledge. Nerves were evolved for coordination of movement, their ability to store memory allows us to develop understanding of cause and effect. If you have knowledge of past events, you can compare them with current events.

Living in an introspective way is not simple, especially in daily life; my interest is in finding mystery, profoundness, in the most banal things. Exercising a fine-tuned consciousness might provide answers to problems we face.

Strathmore paper, gouache, watercolor, ink, graphite, found and personal rubber stamps. 5 x 7 in., 12.7 x 18 cm.  http://www.unlikelystories.org/content/pushdownturn

In the drawings @semi@, @lph@w@ves, medit@tion 2018, I want to induce Alpha state, the middle of the brain wave spectrum, considered the healthiest wave range. Delta and Theta waves are associated with unconsciousness and deep-sleep. Beta waves, just above Alpha indicate a state of intense concentration, and, when maintained for a long time, transform into feelings of fear or anxiety. Beta state is crucial in danger, and fight or flight, when mental alertness is essential. Gamma waves are quite dangerous to the brain, cycling at the highest frequency. Artists and creative thinkers generally have high levels of Alpha wave activity. An Alpha state aids a person’s problem solving skills, when both hemispheres of the brain communicate. The Alpha state is intuition, and at 7.5Hz it is clearer, closer to your subconscious mind, the base of your conscious awareness. Children experience Alpha waves more than adults. With age brain wave pattern shifts from Alpha to Beta. The Mandala is an image associated with connecting to Alpha state. Using the @ in the title I wanted to show that brain wave activity is a ‘place’ a person can shift into and out of with practice. Asemia is hypnotic in it’s lack of message, it’s rhythm, and is conducive to the trancelike Alpha state. 3 drawings on Strathmore paper, gouache, watercolor, ink, graphite, personal rubber stamps. 11 x 14 in., 28 x 35.5 cm.  https://the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2018/05/cecelia-chapman.htmland in print  http://www.lulu.com/shop/mark-young-editor/otoliths-issue-fifty-part-two/paperback/product-23772836.html

Post-Postcard: Wish You Were Here (rebellion, asemia, consciousness) 2018  select drawings

Rejecting visual clues, the asemic brain rebels against propaganda. Asemia bypasses the manipulated message. And outside established patterns of communication lies truth. 12 drawings on Strathmore paper, gouache, watercolor, ink, graphite, personal rubber stamps. 5 x 7 in., 12.7 x 18 cm.  https://the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2018/03/cecelia-chapman.html and in print here http://www.lulu.com/shop/mark-young-editor/otoliths-issue-forty-nine-part-two/paperback/product-23634761.html 

Endgame2 2017 reflects on war arts glorified and embedded in human culture. It employs kung fu animal stance titles, camouflage markings, and the ambiguity of asemic writing to consider that the ultimate goal of the military-industrial complex is ambiguity, instability and no end to the game. Ride The Tiger, Green Dragon Drops Water, Hidden Leopard, Snake Creeps Down. 4 drawings on Lanaquarelle paper, watercolor, ink, graphite, personal rubber stamps. 9 x 12 in., 23 x 30.5 cm. http://the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2017/05/cecelia-chapman.html

Strange Love 2017  Is there a more enigmatic species? Humans have been fascinated by them and cultivated them for thousands of years. They orchestrate a dance of sex and death through complex strategies of attraction to ensure survival. Orchids are the earth’s most rapidly evolving species, the largest species of flowering plants, are twice the number of bird species, and four times greater than mammal species. Genetic sequencing shows orchids may have evolved more than 76-84 million years ago. Perhaps they have something to tell us about survival and the balance of life.

Over the years I have drawn and studied orchid markings, pattern and design is our way of attracting fate. Orchids speak the Asemic language. And they appear in two of my videos.

Orchid Farm 2008: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79TkypUuYzw

Drone Drama: Music for the Dead 2016: Chapter 9: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5iXzdIyWrY

Lanaquarelle paper, gouache, watercolor, ink, graphite, personal rubber stamps. 9 x 12 in., 23 x 30.5 cm.  https://www.interaliamag.org/emerging-ideas/cecelia-chapman-strange-love-2017/ 

Savage Chances: icy comets, trans-neptunian objects, chasing waves, ultramarine dreams and immigration 2017

We are circling a flaming star in bodies of about 65% water on a planet covered by 70% water. Scientists argue that after the Big Bang icy comets and trans-neptunian objects dumped oceans of water on earth. Roughly 97% of earth’s water is in the oceans. 3% is freshwater. 70% of the brain is water. It takes about 12 gallons per day to sustain a human. To create one pint of beer takes 20 gallons of water. 1/3 what the world spends on bottled water in one year could pay for projects providing water to everyone in need. 1 pound of chocolate requires 3,170 gallons of water.

 

Water is our most valuable resource and water conflict is a greater threat than economic crisis, terrorism or global warming. The current immigration crisis is a direct result of struggles for resources and water. The baby boomers’ inability to create a blueprint for the future has created a dystopic scenario.

 

Water’s mutability is the philosophic subject of the Tao: following the ways of water is a guide to successful inner life. And, is there anything more asemic than water’s infinite patterns?

 

For about a decade I chased waves as an artist, a lover of nature, and bodysurfer. I felt the global corporate coup d’etat coming and wanted to see parts of the world before Club Med, mining corporations and Exxon Mobil destroyed it. Living in various places and working wherever I could, I watched water and peoples’ interaction with water.

 

The Caribbean island I lived on was a coral rock filled with natural springs. Locals had a hunk of coral in their house to filter municipal piped water. Local Rastafarians bathed religiously three to four times a day in pristine gully springs. They carried the spring water home for drinking and cooking. As the local government cracked down on revolutionary and socio-cooperative voices by banning camouflage and certain clothing styles and gatherings, the US government invaded a nearby island. Droves of islanders fled north. Prices were driven upward by tourism. The gorgeous, water-filled gullies were sold off for enormous, architectural digest, second homes for wealthy foreigners. I began to experience harassment and moved on.

 

On top of a hill of flower-gorged streets overlooking downtown Acapulco, a fisherman’s shack had been built over a natural spring. It was used by everyone in the neighborhood. The fisherman and family immigrated north. Their fishing livelihood was cut off by a private yacht club. The area was overrun by gangs selling drugs to survive. NAFTA agreements forced farmers to abandon their farms and seek work in the city where they were unable to make a living. It became more difficult for me to move about alone and I moved.

 

I drank coconuts in lieu of clean water everywhere.

 

Rainbow filled Kauai is the wettest spot on earth. Bodysurfing-hula-dancer-shamans wandered in the mists collecting herbs that flourish in this condition. Meanwhile, increasingly, but as always, Hawaiians, who feel a deep spiritual connection to their environment, are barred from access to water, ancestral and coastal land by wealthy outsiders. It became difficult to find work and I left the island

 

South China Seas pirates tailed the fishing boat surfers and myself were traveling in for days. They were trying to sell us pearl diving girls who smiled with gold teeth. International mining corporations with billion dollar profits occupied the pirates' islands. Acid drainage from the copper and gold, open-pit mine tailings contaminated surrounding river systems, land surfaces, groundwater and reefs. A fisherman told us the pollution forced them to abandon their fishing or farming. Guerrilla groups began attacking mine employees and the mines.


Capitalism embraces consumption and competition. Cooperation has enabled the survival of our species. The cult of materialism will fail because happiness, survival and dreams have not been attained through destruction of resources for consumption. One can only hope, as it is observed in the Tao, civilization will rapidly adopt the ways of water, shape-shift, dissolve barriers, and move on.

4 drawings on Lanaquarelle paper, gouache, watercolor, ink, graphite, personal rubber stamps. 9 x 12 in., 23 x 30.5 cm.  https://the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2017/11/cecelia-chapman.html and in print here  http://www.lulu.com/shop/mark-young-editor/otoliths-issue-forty-eight-part-two/paperback/product-23577987.html

In Dangerville, first light on Buck Island: an anthroposemic passage 2017, airline, highway, fuel transport and forced animal migration routes used for pursuit of food and water become asemic records of passage and eco destruction.

 

For thousands of years Cape Cod, where I live presently, was used for hunting and fishing by tribes who called themselves people of the first light. Daybreak is also the hunting hour, and dawn on Buck Island in Cape Cod  represents that most important relationship we have in life with nature for subsistence and survival.

 

Dangerville was drawn from Dangerfield, the 1600’s European settler name for a local coast town with treacherous shoals. Because respondents in a Gallup survey answered the United States “is the greatest threat to peace in the world today.”

4 drawings on Lanaquarelle paper, gouache, watercolor, ink, graphite, personal rubber stamps. 9 x 12 in., 23 x 30.5 cm.  http://www.lulu.com/shop/mark-young-editor/otoliths-issue-forty-seven-part-two/paperback/product-23516175.html  and https://the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2017/09/cecelia-chapman.html

Wampum and Noepe 2017, four drawings made on Martha’s Vineyard called Noepe, ‘land amid the streams' by local Wampanoag Indians. Wampanoag are the original producers of wampum, polished clam shells of a beautiful violet-lavender-indigo, which are currency and barter, a valuable record of tribal pacts and history, tribal status and personal identification. When the white man figured out how to dye and polish white shells they flooded the market with false wampum causing inflation and the end of wampum as early American history and currency.

 

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” George Orwell.

 

In nature, evolution is aided by asemic design as camouflage and communication. Man uses design to his own end.

 

These drawings have been named Wampum and Noepe for several reasons: a study by the Martha's Vineyard Commission found that the cost of living on the island is 60% higher than the national average, and housing prices are 96% higher. There are 15,000 inhabitants on Martha's Vineyard swelling to 100,000 in summer. An army of an extra 25,000 imported workers service the vacationing wealthy. Corporations, like Dunkin Doughnuts, receive tax breaks for workers who share houses and sleep four to a room. The island is accessible only by air or boat. 56% of homes are used a few weeks of the year. Locals struggle for housing and year round employment. Beaches and certain lands are restricted or private.

 

Arriving from the bloated, military industrial complex economy of the San Francisco Peninsula, I became aware of this particularly nasty recreational wave of the future. It is pushing people further into the riptide separating the exceptionally wealthy from the extremely indigent.

 

4 drawings on Lanaquarelle paper, gouache, watercolor, ink, graphite, personal rubber stamps. 9 x 12 in., 23 x 30.5 cm.  http://www.unlikelystories.org/content/wampum-and-noepe

My Pad Is Your Pad: Landing Pad Communiques 2017. Drone pad, glider mark, crop circle, orchid. 4 drawings on Canson paper, watercolor, gouache, acrylic, personal rubber stamps, digital print, graphite. 8 x 10 in., 20.5  x 25.5 cm. https://the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2018/01/cecelia-chapman.html

Club Assassin 2017 dwells on the fact we are all complicit in organized killing, using the Syrian word ‘assassin’ in the title, and the image of the endangered Syrian national bird. 3 drawings on Arches paper, watercolor, gouache, personal rubber stamps, digital print, graphite. 8.5 x 11 in., 21.5 x 28 cm. the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2017/04/cecelia-chapman.html

Shadow Pages: Day 2016. Shadow Pages: Night 2017. 12 drawings on Canson paper, watercolor, pigment print, ink, graphite, personal rubber stamps. 6 x 8 in., 15 x 20.5 cm.  Day: http://www.utsanga.it/chapman-six-works/  and http://the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2016/11/cecelia-chapman.html   Night: http://thenewpostliterate.blogspot.com/2017/01/shadow-pages-night-2017-by-cecelia.html

Floats N0. 1. 2016. 7 drawing / prints on Canson paper, watercolor, pigment print, ink, graphite, found and personal rubber stamps. 4.75 x 7 in., 12 x 18 cm. http://the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2016/08/cecelia-chapman.html and with an essay by Jim Leftwich http://the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2016/11/jim-leftwich_22.html

Stealth 2015-2016 examines the war-like nature of our culture. And during the time I was working on Stealth I serendipitously found military war toys on the street and at work. Toys frame the construct of our minds and lives, and toys like the ninja and Wall-E will prepare you or your child for a life well-watched and aggressive attitude. These are a few studio photos of the toys with panels and the gif How2disappear.

When I began Stealth I was thinking about the furtive, the secret, the deliberately disguised, the hidden and the camouflaged. I was thinking about the prehistoric shaman...how they were the first persons to camouflage themselves to hunt and stalk. The shaman was the guardian of the health, well-being and survival of their tribe. And, one of the toys I found resembled ninja shaman.  Birch panel, mineral pigment, acrylic, gesso, house paint, spray paint. Stand, hanging wire.  2014 - 2016. Some sold, originally 4 large, 4 small panels 8 x 12 in., 20 x 30.5 cm., and 24 x 24 in., 61 x 61 cm. 

Asemic Cartoons 2016. Take their format from pre-digital photo-ready art. I call them cartoons, as in classical art drawings, where cartoons are rough drawings for a final painting. Canson paper, watercolor, pigment print, ink, graphite, personal rubber stamps. 30 drawings on paper 8 X 10 in., 20.5 X 25.5 cm., image size 6 X 6 in., 15 X 15 cm. http://the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/cecelia-chapman.html

Art Crime Bulletin 2011. 30 digital prints, mail collaboration with Jeff Crouch. Digital print. Collage, drawing. http://www.unlikelystories.org/11/chapmancrouch0911.shtml

Field Notes 2015. Drones Over Chukchi Sea, EcoWarriors onBikes, Heavy Weather, WarGamesCanson paper, watercolor, pigment print ink, graphite, personal rubber stamps. 4 prints 8 X 10 in., 20 X 21.5 cm. http://compostxt.blogspot.com/2015/06/cecelia-chapman-fields-notes.html

Discreet Entries 2013. Instagram journal, 30 images, mail collaboration with Jeff Crouch. Setups photographed on iPad with images Jeff mailed to me. Found objects, drawing. http://compostxt.blogspot.com/2013/09/cecelia-chapman-jeff-crouch-discreet.html

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