Drawing an observed night sky begins as a visual documentation capturing the enormity of the landscape itself and leads to the contradictions of such a sky. Telecommunication lines crisscross the landscape, moving, blinking lights are traced from airplanes and wind turbines, and light pollution encroaches even in the farthest fields, pulling the vastness of the universe back to human scale. Drawing the night sky from direct observation stems from a need to leave the house, be alone, and independent from the confines of new motherhood. A desire to feel insignificant to the world is a welcome contrast to the all-consuming needs of a child during the years of infancy through toddlerhood.
Observational drawing tends to describe both time and place and these drawings are as such. But they also reveal my interest in spatial dimensions, textiles, and mark-making. The contrast between small, hand woven landscapes and a subject described in distances of light years shows my interest in connecting these perceived disparate forms; pictorial space to actual space, a metaphor for connecting a people to a place, a Midwestern city dweller to the universal landscape.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Emily Newman holds a MFA in studio art from the University of Nebraska Lincoln and a BFA in sculpture from Syracuse University. Her recent group exhibitions include works shown at Site: Brooklyn, New York and Manifest Gallery in Ohio and two solo exhibitions at the Blanden Museum of Art in Ft. Dodge, Iowa and Farnham Galleries on the campus of Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. She recently curated a contemporary textiles and fibers exhibition for the Anderson Gallery at Drake University, funded by a project grant from the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Emily is an Assistant Professor of Art at Drake University and lives in Des Moines with her husband and two children.
© Emily Newman