Location: Wheaton, Illinois
Featured Work: Borrowed Light
Spray paint on gallery walls
Walford Gallery, Wheaton College, 2018
Describe your featured work.
On a sunny day, the afternoon light streams into my studio and transforms the walls with a constantly changing pattern of illumination. In fact, at times it is so intense, that I have to stop working – the light itself is the only event that can happen in the space. In this piece, I transposed the light from my studio onto the gallery walls with spray paint, “sharing” this event with gallery viewers. Because of the subtlety and sheen of the spray paint, it often took people a few moments to realize that it was in fact, not light, and that the pattern of the blinds could not be coming from this particular window. For me, this piece was about this very gap between perception and comprehension, and the resulting expansion of experience through beauty.
I am captivated by how light transforms our experience of space. Much of my work in recent years has used the framework of the window as both a literal and poetic structure for exploring presence and absence, proximity and distance. Most of my work is painting and drawing based, but it often spills into other media as well. I take any chance I can get to transform actual spaces through site-specific interventions that subtly alter our experience. By working in multiples and playing with shifting points of view, I seek to illuminate the embodied, shifting nature of perception. The work is really as much about looking as it is about what is being looked at – an invitation for contemplation and awakened perception.
What are you making now?
Right now, I am working on a series of paintings of a tree seen through my rather dirty studio window. Depending on where the sun is coming from, the glare on the window more or less dissolves the view of the tree. I’m interested in the abstraction and confusion of subject matter that this is creating. My working title for the series is “A Pocket of Time”, in reference to an Elizabeth Bishop poem in which she describes an Edenic period of suspended time. The window frame is like a poem, both revealing and distancing at the same time.
Why do you belong to CIVA?
I have a very personal connection to CIVA: my grandfather, Gene Johnson, founded CIVA in the late 1970s. I grew up in Germany, so knew him as “Grandpa, the potter” on our visits back to the United States, and was mostly unaware of his public teaching and engagement. I went to my first CIVA conference in Montreal while I was in graduate school, and was invigorated to discover the vibrant organization that had grown out of his vision!
Cherith Lundin is Assistant Professor of Art at Wheaton College where she teaches painting, drawing, and printmaking. She received an MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and exhibits her artwork throughout the United States, as well as internationally. A 2014 HATCH Project Resident with the Chicago Artists Coalition, Cherith has received multiple grants in support of her artwork, including from the Jerome Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation.