The topical matter of my work ranges from climate anxiety, urban deconstruction/reconstruction vs. natural habitat in the Pacific Northwest, to archival memory.
Using acrylic, mixed media and found materials, I methodically build up the surfaces of my paintings with layers of printed ephemera and fragments of personal photo-transfers – the visual, verbal and numerical information I could never retain in memory. I paint over these cluttered systems as an attempt to embalm chaos in a skin, which fluctuates between being solid and transparent. I am interested in the coexisting narratives of exposure, protection, isolation and ecology sublimated as the information under the skin of my paintings are covered and brought back to the surface. This use of landscape and layering continues periodically with both pinhole photography and video (along with sound/distortion).
My interests in art and information management have been two consistent threads. Ongoing installation pieces, such as The Mnemonic Whale, attempt to bring these two threads together. I pursued art because the subject of information internalization has been a continuous battle with a learning disability/short-term working memory. I have embraced this battle with fascination and love by earning my MLS with a concentration in archives and working as an academic librarian, while simultaneously continuing my creative practices.
This portfolio of selected works is an ever-changing organism. To see current and past projects, please visit my blog.
I live (with my cat, Mikhail) and work in Portland, Oregon.
~~ Sylvie Dakota Huhn, Autumn 2017