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Gravy Studio & Gallery is proud to present Hope Sail, a series of work by interdisciplinary artist Leah Dyjak. Her work features an installation of deconstructed photographs that speak to the ways in which familiar landscapes have been mangled and erased by the force of water.
The works presented make use of a collapsed parking lot along the shoreline of coastal Massachusetts. The point of focus: the mutability of boundary, frame and instability of surface. Asphalt and road lines are ubiquitous in function. These are the lines that are meant to guide and create order. Weather causes them to become futile in function and ultimately broken. This once steadfast surface becomes supple and mutable under the force of wind and water. Asphalt and concrete, elements of both naturally according in the earth, sprawl underfoot and overhead in the modern built environment. The crash of a wave can send a piece of asphalt the size of minivan ten feet into the air to have it land bent and broken like a piece of unfired clay.
The edges of the photographs mimic the fracturing of the lands edge. The concrete and asphalt appear soft, fallible, and defeated by the rains, winds and tides. The Jersey barrier is collapsed both into the sea and onto the walls of the gallery. Immovable objects that are tethered by gravity to the earth are flung above our heads. The barriers that divide us are felled in a single instant.
Dyjak’s work experientially resemble losing control of trusted and known spaces. The edges and surface of the photograph are distorted through cutting, scanning and reconstructing. The extension of lines with tape and paint confuse the familiar perception of formerly understood textures: photograph or photographed, comes into question. The difference between photograph and gesture of the hand in these works is unclear. Tape is used as an extension of the formidable double yellow line. White tape is used to stitch broken fragments back together, aware of its inevitable failure in holding the material together.
This work portrays the limits of the photographic frame and camera lens to capture the visual negative space, the fault lines, the things we can not see but which erase boundaries and barriers. By reconstructing photographic imagery into new compositions, Dyjak attempt to exert control over spaces where she has none.
Leah Dyjak is an interdisciplinary, lens-based artist splitting her time between New York and Massachusetts. Her site-specific work combines performance, labor, film, and photography to explore how generations of human use affect the ecologies of the place. She is an Assistant Professor of Photography and Video at Wheaton College in Massachusetts.
For more info about Leah Dyjak or to view her portfolio, please visit: https://www.leahdyjak.com/