Contact info: leonachri (at) gmail.com
“Dark Woods, Light Woods” documents the ongoing artistic collaboration between siblings Leona and Gavin Christie, in which Leona re-presents her brother’s writings and photographs.
A resident of suburban Detroit since 1976, Gavin ritually types and hand-writes memories of dates, directions, TV shows, books, stores, and snacks, as well as artist statements about his work, and other people’s memories that he finds on the internet. Every day he takes self-portraits with his friends who work in stores and businesses in downtown Birmingham, Michigan.
Understanding that books and maps often get “updated” into new versions and editions, and that stores and roads open and close, Gavin regularly discards his old “expired” work to make room for new. In this collaboration, Leona’s role is to document and preserve her brother’s work so that it can be seen, saved, and shared in a manner that highlights its artistic value.
This project has been developed with the input and insight of curators and colleagues: Corinna Schaming, Emily Zimmerman, Nadine Wasserman, Rachel Seligman, Leslie Umberger, Amy Chaloupka, Randy Bolton, Teresa Cole, Janet Marcavage, Joseph Lupo, Jason Urban & Printeresting.org, Julie Casper Roth, Jennifer Greiman, Barry Trachtenberg, Elisa Albert, Charles Goldman, and Megan O’Connell, all to whom are owed much thanks and appreciation. The work has been exhibited in group shows at the University Art Museum, Albany, NY (“Courier”); the Kohler Arts Center, Sheyboygan, WI (“Hiding Places: Memory and the Arts”); the Arts Center of the Capital Region (“So to Speak”); and is on view in 2014 at the Elmhurst Art Museum, IL (“Lifeloggers: Chronicling the Everyday”), and in a solo exhibition at Salt & Cedar in Detroit, MI.
Leona’s intention is to illuminate the emotional content embedded within her brother’s practice of obsessive memory-data collecting, and to provide a space for an encounter between the literal and the poetic. For Gavin, exhibiting his work has expanded his sense of self, ability, and agency in relation to his daily routine, community, and future plans.
Above: A selection of life events, listed by Gavin in his notebooks, 2013
Since growing up in Michigan, Leona has lived and worked in Seattle, WA, Oakland, CA, Madison, WI, and Middlebury, VT. She currently splits her time between upstate New York and Brooklyn. Leona was born in London, England. Gavin lives and works in Birmingham, Michigan, and was born in Cardiff, Wales.
Leona’s website with full cv and art practice: http://www.leonachristie.com