Wave

“A wave is a force of nature, a scientific phenomenon, a fluidity, a greeting. It is a moving meditation that connects us to one another. We make waves, play in waves, watch the waves. A wave is a harnessing of collected energy, a transmission of power, a natural force. Here in Portsmouth, one can watch the waves ebb and flow, consider the riches and industry built upon the waves. Here in PMAC, one can sit and listen to waves in the form of sound. This show celebrates my long standing love of waves, as image and idea. This show was originally slated to open in March of 2020. We all know what happened then. In the last year and a half, the word wave has taken on even more meaning: we witnessed first, second and third waves of illness, learned to imbue a wave from afar with feeling and empathy, celebrating this connection across the pandemic’s required physical distances. When masked, a wave replaces a smile. We have all worked to adjust to rapidly changing conditions around us, riding waves of information and shifting tides in an effort to adapt and maybe even grow stronger, pulling those around us along, knowing we are stronger together. 

I have lived near a coast most of my life. When I was two, I was hypnotized by the ocean while on a harbor cruise, my small hands and fresh eyes fixed and immovable, my parents unsure of how to pry me loose. Free time generally meant finding a way to get into or be next to some body of water, its simple power and soothing force a touchstone. Perhaps it was no surprise, then, that when I began to make art in earnest the image and mark that I returned to again and again looked like a wave. In conjuring endless (if subtle) variations of this mark I create an escape from day to day demands, carve out a moment to simply breathe. I make a mark that — while perhaps inscrutable in terms of narrative — stamps a moment in time, a moment of quiet and focus, a moment of artistic and temporal flow. These moments have become even more precious during these pandemic times, my gratitude for process, studio space and access to means of expression growing exponentially as so much became uncertain. 

When we sit by the water, we are lulled by the waves and their unceasing — if often volatile — movement. This is my experience of the studio, my hand repeating the motion of moving across the surface of an inked gelatin plate, creating a wave that becomes fixed by pressing paper to its surface, the motion and strength of my hand  printing the image. These waves ebb and flow and find their way onto different surfaces and into different combinations, but they always remind me that I am alive and breathing, witnessing time shifting and moving. They represent my moments to just be, and teach me that not everything must have a story to be complete. It is good practice for the ups and downs of life.

A wave rolls forward before it retreats to roll forward again. In doing so, it carries different parts of what it touches back and forth, tumbling and tossing. As I print and recombine waves, I too retreat to gather energy that rolls forward into other parts of my life. Covid has made me keenly aware of the interconnected nature of our lives, and challenged me to find new ways to connect and share what I have picked up along the way as we all retreated to different spaces in order to survive. We have learned that together we carry each other forward, harnessing energy and power and collective care, waving at each other as we go.”

Kristin Breiseth

September, 2021

To view our online gallery below, click on each thumbnail image to view the whole image. Interested in purchasing artwork? Please send an email to gallery@pmaconline.org and specify which piece of art you are interested in purchasing.

To view this exhibit in person in our Haas Hall Family Gallery at PMAC, please feel free to stop by during our open gallery hours, the show ends January 22,2022:

Monday  1:00 PM-3:30 PM

Tuesday 12:30 PM-5:00 PM

Wednesday 3:00 PM-4:30 PM

Thursday 3:00 PM-4:30 PM

Friday 12:00 PM-3:00 PM

Saturday 1:00 PM-2:40 PM

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