Artist in residence Elaine McMurray is from Flower Mound, TX and is currently based in Austin, TX. She is pursuing a BFA in studio art at the University of Texas at Austin. Her practice is primarily rooted in painting and she experiments in using painting as a method for creating manifestations of human anxiety.
At NES she has been exploring local folklore and creating paintings that are reflective of these tales. Her recent work at NES is inspired by different methods of fortune telling and prophecy reading. The best places to keep up with her work are her Instagram @indecisivefroggg and her website https://elainemcmurray973.wixsite.com/artist.
“I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2000. I moved to Houston, Texas in 2014 and currently study art at The University of Texas Austin. I will be graduating in the Fall of 2021 with a Studio Art BFA. I love to create visually exciting images of all sizes and mediums. My work seeks to raise questions and spark discussions about environmental issues, cultural phenomena, and identity.”
“The constant connection with the elements at their purest forms. The fluent feeling you get meanwhile seeing water drop and stone melt.
When art and craftsmanship are eternal allies united in the local car workshop, where Óli, a former fisherman, shared with me his knowledge of welding and gave birth to my twisted aluminum shapes in perfection.”
In her work, Lena Marie Emrich focuses on the marginal and the social – both topics that are key elements in her artistic practice. Car tuning races, abandoned airports, lapsed graffiti, meteorological phenomena – all these are cultural references that nourish her multidisciplinary practice. Emrich interweaves performance, documentation and sculpture and sheds light on the characteristics of these unique communities. She mixes scientific research findings with a kind of poetic form language, as well as examining objects and phenomena for their aesthetic and social relevance. Her works tell of the encounter between supposedly rigid everyday objects and human longings, and conserve them in a simple formal language. In 2020 she won the Toy Award presented by the Berlin Masters Foundation. For 2021/2022 she is awarded the Art Prize of the Kunstverein Hannover.
During my residency in the north of Iceland this May, I was inspired to make a series of plein air landscape paintings after seeing the exhibition Eternal Recurrence at the Icelandic Art Center. The show was centered around an Icelandic landscape painter from the 1800s, Jóhannes Sveinsson Kjarval. Included in the exhibition were paintings from Ragnar Kjartansson’s performance of extreme landscape painting in the Icelandic lava fields.
Hunafloi, May 24, 2021, 11 pm. 3 degrees Celsius., 40 x 50 cm, oil on linen, 2021
I created the series paintings with the impulse to continue the conversation that these two artists started, both with the land in Iceland and the history of painting, but with the intent to reframe it from a feminist lens.
Spakonufellhofdi, May 26, 2021, 11:30pm. 3 degrees celsius., 40 x 50 cm, oil on linen, 2021
During my painting sessions, the weather was cold (between 0-6 °C / 32-43 °F), the wind was strong, and the birds flying overhead were loud. But rather than attempting to conquer the land through an act of brute force like Kjartansson in the iconic image of him, I approached these painting sessions as a way to connect with the land and to pay homage to it – which I see as an essential aspect of challenging traditional patriarchal and colonial narratives.
Spakonufellhofdi May 25, 2021, 9:30 pm. 4 degrees Celsius., 90 x 60 cm, oil on linen, 2021
Spakonufellhofdi, May 26, 2021, 11:30 pm. 4 degrees Celsius, 90 x 60 cm, oil on linen, 2021
Spakonufell, May 25, 2021, 9pm. 3 degrees Celsius., 40 x 50 cm, oil on linen, 2021
Spakonufell (north face). May 6, 2021, 6 pm. 0 degrees Celsius., diptych 30 x 40 cm, oil on linen, 2021
Skagastrond, May 25, 2021, 3pm. 6 degrees Celsius, 30 x 23 cm, oil on linen, 2021
Blonduos. May 10, 2021, 3:00 pm. 4 degrees Celsius., diptych 30 x 40 cm, oil on linen, 2021
In addition to the paintings, I collaborated with Danish filmmaker, Anna Katrine Thuesen, who was also at the residency, to document the painting sessions.
Hannah Witner is a visual artist and designer originally from Charlotte, NC, USA, and currently based between New York City and North Carolina. She earned a BFA in Integrated Design from Parsons School for Design in 2018. Hannah Witner’s work spans from colorful, surrealist, and psychological oil paintings, whimsical drawings, and experimental & commercial design. Hannah is a multidisciplinary artist: at the heart of her work lies a passion for uncovering the hidden potential of materials, psychological processes, and strange figuration, which she undertakes in a spirit of curiosity and experimentation.
Her work combines humanoids with an expansive array of visual material with immense play of colors, beginning in consciousness and transience. Her work combines touches of reality with meta-fiction and comedy and reflects our disorder, dissociation, detachment, individualism, and weird minutia of humans. She pokes at the flawed and unexplainable through painting and illustration, expressing a disorderliness that is both humorous, dark, and amorphic. At NES she hopes to make lots of drawings and studies on paper. Usually she works on large scale canvases, and the restriction to work on a smaller scale will be a great challenge. These drawings will be a continuation of the work she has been doing in New York and at the residency she attended just before arriving to NES in Lisbon, Portugal. It will hopefully start to open up a new avenue of regular practice of drawing and illustration in a more pronounced way in her practice. They will be mostly figurative, experimental, contemplative, surreal, whimsical, and sometimes nonsensical. Web: www.artbyhannah.me IG: @hannahwitner