Fall Intern Exhibition: Becoming Part One

December 29, 2016 by

“Becoming is a moment of intentional creation; it is a beginning still in progress.”  So say our fall interns of their exhibition, which came down from our gallery walls last week.

The work in Becoming: Part One was a culmination of Chloe Horsma, Molly Berkson, and Sarah Rose Lejeune’s six-month sojourn in our studios, and looking around our gallery it was clear they’d been taking advantage of their time.  In a show both far-reaching and wholly cohesive, handmade paper shared a wall with ceramic sculpture; a letterpress broadside sat by a pile of crocheted paper socks on a windowsill; books on shelves joined a ghostly dresser drawer jutting from the walls.

As their internship term wound down and we prepared to send these phenomenal young women on their way, we wanted to hear from them about their new work, their experience at WSW, and where they’ll go from here.

Sarah Rose Lejeune, one of our studio interns, is a papermaker, printmaker, and sculptor from Brookline, MA. Her work is a quietly humorous meditation on nostalgia.  Laminate paper cast objects make for ghostly shells: a drawer of lost paper socks, a chest-high stack of paper cushions recently retired from a chair in her mother’s therapy practice after twenty years.  Handmade paper, itself a nostalgic substance, is a medium through which she creates her intricate shadows.  They are reminders not solely of the object itself, but of the history or story the object represents – the sock that’s been lost, the person who sat on the chair.  Her work’s humor is also a practice in mourning, a painstaking and obsessive longing to remember or recapture that which is lost.  Separate from the paper-cast socks in a drawer, her little pile of crocheted hanji socks sits on a windowsill, almost like an afterthought, waiting to be gathered up and put away. Her mezzotints, also printed on handmade paper, laboriously reach for solid black, then relinquish and burnish away from it. After leaving WSW, Sarah Rose will be briefly working at the Morgan Paper Conservatory in Cleveland, OH before heading down to North Carolina to spend two years as a Core Fellow at the Penland School of Crafts.  

Molly Berkson, also a studio intern, is a cross-disciplinary artist from Chicago, IL.    Her artist’s book Twentysix Black Walnuts, composed of cotton muslin and
letterpress prints,
guides the viewer through the lifespan of natural dyebath.  Records, a ceramic piece, is a playful display of Molly’s experiments in texture and technique.  Beside them, a larger than life relief print uses handmade paper not only as its backdrop but as an integral element interacting with the print; ceramic magnets smush the whole thing to the wall.  Molly’s work occupies a space where the line between expert and amateur is toyed with and subverted, where skill and knowledge sharing are celebrated through means of alternate communication.  She returns now to her home in Chicago, where she’ll work both in her own studio and at an after school program called ElevArte teaching fiber art to high school students from across Chicago.

Chloe Horsma, our
administrative intern this fall, is a letterpress and book artist and writer from Sacramento, CA.  For Chloe, introducing her original text to the letterpress has allowed her to understand and grapple with her own writing in new ways.  “Metal type has such a weight to it.  It’s always wild to hold text in my hands, and move it around, and feel my own words physically bite into the page.”  It’s a way to bring the act writing to a new dimension, where things happen beyond just the mental space.   In the show, her letterpress chapbook ruminates on the physical and existential journey of learning to swim.  Her letterpress broadside, An Atlas of Accidental Hiding Places, moves its viewer’s eye down constellations of text and symbols.  Altogether her work is an observation, a reckoning, and an inquiry, on being lost, hidden, and found.  Her next steps will take her back to the golden state, to pursue her ambition of making and loving books at a professional level.

Of these last six months at WSW, Chloe says: “It’s been such an incredible experience to learn and work with so many amazing artists, both my fellow interns and everyone else who’s come through the studios to work.  Because of this time, my sense of the world, and of my place in it, is so much bigger.”

Chloe, Molly, and Sarah Rose’s culminating show took “becoming” as its theme in recognition of the feeling that, though their time with us was ending, the work they had to show could only be described as a beginning.  The beginnings of new projects, new techniques, and new ways of making and thinking were all represented in their “final” show.  Here at the Binne, we couldn’t be prouder to see them off on their next steps.  We’ll miss them, but we know they’ve got great things in store!