Laura J Padgett
DAD Artists at Home
Travel is an essential element of my creative process. Putting myself into an unfamiliar situation, adapting to different cultures, learning through stories told to me and using this vital information have become a cornerstone of my work.
Exhibitions have been postponed, screenings are now taking place online. My participation in San Francisco Cinematheque’s CROSSROADS 2020 Film Festival, which should have taken place at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art was virtually held. Perhaps a blessing? Many more people have access to the films and there will be an archive: https://www.sfcinematheque.org/festival/crossroads-2020/
Many new things have happened since lockdown, illness, loss, isolation. Minimal travel. Now I am confronted with stories that are too private to relate or to use in artwork.
Home has become a refuge, the studio, when I am able to get there, offers a few moments of respite.
How to work? Living in a kind of sludge, how do you create structure?
During the spring semester teaching gave me a basic framework, as there were fixed dates I had to keep. Seminars forced me to concentrate on specific content and to relate to students in discussion. Yet how to structure my art work?
I have been lucky enough to receive a small working grant from the Hessian Cultural Foundation to begin my archive. This has also helped me with organisational systems and to push me to think about how to continue.
Making commissioned work. The Westend Synagogue in Frankfurt am Main has become an object for me to photograph. Several architectural features were designed by Hans Leistikow. What he designed post WWII has become a topic of research for an upcoming historical exhibition. I travel to the synagogue, local, yet removed from the every day, to make photographs.