OVERFLOW A Solo Exhibition
by DARIN M. WHITE Soapbox Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, April 13-26th, 2012 SUA Union Gallery, Kansas University Memorial Unions, Lawrence, Kansas, September 10th-October 6th, 2012
COVER Overflow Exhibition Soapbox Gallery, Brooklyn, New York BACK COVER Overflow Exhibition, detail view SUA Union Gallery, Kansas University Memorial Unions Lawrence, Kansas
Copyright ÂŠ 2012 by Darin M. White
Published in conjunction with the exhibition DARIN M. WHITE - OVERFLOW: A Debut New York Solo Exhibition, at the Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, April 13th-26th, 2012. The exhibition has traveled and expanded at the University of Kansas, Union Gallery in Lawrence, Kansas, September 14th, 2012October 5th, 2012 organized with curator Gina Adams. The exhibition is sponsored in part by a Kickstarter project with many generous funds from over 130 individuals during a 25 day period. Also included in this list are companies who provided support including: Soapbox Gallery, University of Kansas SUA Union Gallery, Printing Solutions, Grandstand, Bridger Property Services, Stormdoor Productions, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Tri-Star Seed Company, Display Direct, Hava Studios and b.a.l.m. | beauty, art and life movement. I dedicate this book to my family and to the memory of my son Caden Michael White. Caden, you are forever in my heart and thoughts, we love and miss you. You are the most courageous boy I have ever known. I would like to thank my loving wife Shannon, daughters Noel and Claire for their sacrifices for me while I invested a large amount of time into this project. Also for my parents Ed and Peggy White for supporting me no matter how crazy they thought I was, and for teaching me how to live. A big thank you to my brother and friend, Brian White. Thank you to Jon Keith Swindell, Richard Gillespie, John Hachmeister, Barbara Oâ€™Brien, Saralyn Reece Hardy, Dr. Jan Schall, Samuel W. Kho, Rex Hausmann, Lisa Lala, Cara Megan Lewis, Paulo Cabezas, Gina Adams, Philip and Anh Sawyer, Gary Bradley, Chad Michael Cox, Larry Cole, Erik and Jen Fish and so many others who have encouraged me in this craziness called art. Also in memory of good friend, GF Sam Wagner, who supported this project. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval without permission in writing from the author. www.DarinWhite.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Printed in U.S.A.
Field just outside of Lawrence, Kansas where the artist lives with his family
Artist with his wife, Shannon, an artist, and daughters Noel, eleven, and Claire, two
Artist and his son, Caden, who died in 2009 from neuroblastoma cancer -Photo by Shannon White
I first met Darin White in my studio for a curatorial visit where he was choosing work for an exhibition in Kansas City. I had never met him before, but instantly I knew he was both a genuine person as well as being intuitive and sensitive with concerns to both asking questions and in listening to what I had to say about my own artist practice. I did not know ahead of time that he was considering my work for the Cara and Cabeza Contemporary show in KC, only that he went to KU, was a Visual Art alum, and was an artist and art enthusiast. Through the planning for the Cara and Cabeza Contemporary exhibition I learned more about Darin and his artistic practice. My first visit to his studio proved to be very exciting! There was so much to see and talk about, it felt as though we would never have enough time to discuss everything and touch upon every little detail. Believe me, I wanted to. Artists are always inspired by other artists who go in depth when it involves their studio, their tools, the layout, the work, the process. You name it, we love to talk about it. It seemed only natural that when developing the concept for an KU Alumni Visiting Artist Exhibition in the SUA Gallery inside the Memorial Unions Building on Campus that Darin White should be the first artist in this exhibition series. I had seen his drive and determination in developing a Kickstarter in order to have a solo show, OVERFLOW in NYC. I was impressed with both how hard he worked and then with how well considered his show was when installed. So in offering Darin a solo exhibition in the SUA Union Gallery, I presented it as having his New York show here at home. Home being both Lawrence, where Darin lives with his wife Shannon and their daughters Noel and Claire. And art in the White household is truly a family affair. The SUA Union Gallery and the Memorial Unions welcomes Darin White with an open heart and an open mind. Thank you for taking the time to consider Darinâ€™s work installed in the gallery. Gina Adams Memorial Unions Curator
OVERFLOW SEEDS FOR REFLECTION
For those of us who like our epic quotes, you have heard this one before: “What good is it if you gain the whole world, but lose your soul?” That is a close paraphrase fished out of the Bible, spoken by Jesus. The pointed question echoes a proverbial human drama, if there is one; but have we considered its hypothetical inverse? What good would it be if we have our souls, then lose the whole world? I would guess that Darin White, in the exhibition OVERFLOW, had considered that dilemma before. So let’s say you choose personal integrity and retain that inner consciousness, but then still watch your material universe (presumably as precious) slip away? In the text accompanying the exhibition, he initiates his version of the question, asking you and me: “What will you do with what we are given?” The artist told me he does not care for political enmeshment, but OVERFLOW is after all a show traveling from a Brooklyn, New York gallery called Soapbox to a space called Union Gallery at Kansas University (And I as essayist have just newly returned to the Los Angeles area). Notice that the artist’s question, consciously or subconsciously formed, addresses “you” while acknowledging a collective “we”. Sounds like Kennedy’s Camelot speech. Not to get bogged down with American politics of current election-season 2012, one cannot help but consider the ideological tug-of-war between shared or individual powers, what is inherited and what is earned, the rhetorics between “you didn’t build that” and “the achievement of the individual.” Art world gatekeepers-- art dealers to art academics-- speak about the “timeliness” of consequential artmaking, and I’d say the contents of OVERFLOW are pretty darn timely.
What we are given here: choices, self-conscious souls, material goods, an American two-party system, a big nation where we are allowed to ask big, philosophical questions out loud and to one another. But allow me to touch upon a few points on what we are given, in the more concrete ways we as gallery goers can see, smell, touch (at least with creative imaginations). What provokes us in OVERFLOW is a once-living black bear, with arms roughly forming a heart-shaped void. A real bear hug to the usual living-room trophies of fierce teeth and outstretched claws typical of Americana. This bear seemingly presides over a wooden structure which in turn sits atop a large pool of corn seeds. In White’s written text, his subjects of “farmland, barns and brimming silos” are invoked more as dreamy state and visionary condition than simple nostalgic sentimentality; we are living at a time not only of nationwide recession and serious natural droughts. In fact, a material crisis is shared, if not eclipsed, by the wider economic shakeup of European and Japanese powerhouses. Timely? Look up what hot-blooded Italians did with Arte Povera (literally “Poor Art”) during the 1960s, in a time of too-cool American minimalism. As he composed this installation between Overflow and Bear Heart, did Darin White realize how unsettling OVERFLOW is as a show? Did he ever think “bear market”, as we like to call cycles of downturn? Did he consider the ironic contrast of connotations in “Over” versus “Flow”? Here is another fact, this one about those copper etchings, available to anyone who can look up “copper” in Wikipedia. com: “Copper has been in use at least 10,000 years, but more than 95% of all copper ever mined and smelted has been extracted since 1900.” And here I thought quoting Jesus would be controversial. Samuel W. Kho Curator, Los Angles and New York
Overflow Exhibition Maps of relevant places traveled or location of medium or material 2012 for the New York exhibition
This idea of putting a book together has been on my mind for quite a while. Sometimes it takes a little boost to get you rolling. Jimmy Greenfield and I spoke about an exhibition at his Soapbox Gallery in Brooklyn, New York. The thought of producing, funding and acting as the gallery representative was daunting. I decided I needed to take a leap of faith, and jumped off the proverbial cliff without a parachute. Boy am I thankful for an understanding wife, also an artist, because it has been a wild ride. With the need to fund this project, I turned to Kickstarter as a platform to raise the support of staying in New York for the length of the exhibition. Through the generosity and support of over 130 individuals and a number of businesses, the project launched and the exhibition opened in New York, April, 13th, 2012. I am grateful for all of the people who came out to see the exhibition and installation from all around the area. After my return to my home base of Lawrence, Kansas at the end of April, I began to fulfill the rewards for the Kickstarter project. Part of the excitement of fulfillment of this project was the opportunity to produce my first exhibition catalog. I spent the end of spring and most of the summer playing catchup from being gone in New York. My wife had a fabulous idea of an edible garden complete with the barn element from the exhibition at the end of a stone pathway flanked with berms planted with the organic corn from the exhibition. Not being a farmer, it has been very exciting for our kids as well as the whole family to see the new sprouts come up quickly, and seeing the almost daily visible growth. At the time of this writing the corn is over 6 feet tall and despite drought in the area, we have been able to keep the corn beautifully green. I am looking forward to the Union Gallery installation, and the expansion of more works in the exhibition.
OVERFLOW is a collection of concepts I have been contemplating for some time. The works start as either an image that pops into my head, or perhaps a notion that I roll over and over, or even a dream that I wake up with and have to sketch out before it is lost forever. With the installation sculpture of the same title as the exhibition, this notion of a barn like shape as if it were a silo filled to the point that it spills out into the world around it is multifaceted and fascinating to me. We, like this coffin-like structure and hollow, empty shell filled with our choices. I was so pleased to see this installation in a place where it could be viewed 24 hours a day on a busy Brooklyn street. My little soapbox. I loved seeing the reaction of the viewer whether negative or positive, shocked or awed, inquisitive or confused. Many New Yorkers took the time to discuss and proliferate their projection or understanding of the works. Many engaged by taking or filling up a paper pouch with the seed corn that had printed on it the statement of the work including the question, “What will you do with what we are given?” I am hopeful to see many people not only taking the corn, but planting it and metaphorically and physically living out this statement. The work Bear Heart, started by locating a frozen black bear that had not been claimed or remembered. I prefer to make my own work as process is so important to my work. However in this case, I was outside of my talents and comfort zone, as I had only very minor experiences with taxidermy, and they were simple at best compared to this. I had the taxidermist shape the bears arms into a hug of sorts with the negative shape revealing a heart. This 350 pound black bear made a stir in the city landscape. The small space allowed for only a portion of the works that I had originally wanted to include, so two of the pieces remained in sketch form, but were transformed into transfer prints onto copper. Appropriate Attire is the name of both works, one with burlap and earth and the other representing ashes and burlap, each with a new growth of life emerging. The part of the poem of inspiration is “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” I am looking forward to this new installation at the SUA Union Gallery from September 10th to October 5th, 2012 and the opportunity to ask or perhaps provoke questions in a world that may or may not appreciate this coversation. I thank you for taking the time to be engaged in whatever capacity you do, and hope that potentially the questions raised will become like a seed, which after dying will begin to be nurtured and grow exponentially. Darin M. White Lawrence, Kansas
Overflow Exhibition New York installation 2012
Overflow New York installation 2012 Reclaimed pallet wood, 1000 lbs. whole corn seed 72â€? x dimensions variable
Detail of organic seed packets, for viewer to take
Appropriate Attire: LAC Installation Burlap and Earth Burlap, earth, steel, wood 17” x 16” x 16” 2012 Installed as part of the DANNON ART project, at the Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence, Kansas from January-March, 2012. The artist worked over a period of time alternating with 19 other artists in the shared studio space as the exhibition.
Appropriate Attire: Image transfer print Ashes and Burlap on reclaimed copper 9.25” x 7.25” 2012 A burlap sack becomes a women’s dress that either is rising out of or sinking into ashes which create the outline. From the ashes, new growth begins to form. In nature when fire burns the forest decimating it, eventually out of this process emerges life and the chance to begin again.
Appropriate Attire: Image transfer print Burlap and Earth on reclaimed copper 9.25” x 7.25” 2012 A men’s suit made from the same material to hold potatoes or coffee is buried to its knees in soil. Out of the earth emerges a single seedling. This work incorporates the wrestle with issues of power and humility, struggle, toil, life cycle, memento mori, forward movement and growth.
Bear Heart 2012
York installation | New Reclaimed taxidermy black bear, love
27” x 18” x 28” A naturally peaceful bear protrudes from the wall with arms extended in a kind gesture, paws touching. The negative shape of the arms creates a simple but powerful message, and encourages the viewer to wrestle with larger issues of life.
The artistâ€™s wife, artist Shannon White, came to New York to visit the exhibition on his Birthday. She created a corn heart, with the Brooklyn skyline in the background.
A daytime view of the New York exhibition, reveals the contrast of the city.
The artists friends from Guatemalan, Pedro, Ana, Lewin and Yaxun, came to visit the New York exhibition from Boston.
In answer to the question asked by the exhibition, “What will you do with what you have been given”. Planting organic corn in Brooklyn. Later, corn begins to sprout in Kansas. The artists wife, Shannon, youngest daughter Claire and oldest daughter Noel (not shown) plant and tend to an edible landscape.
The “barn” from the Overflow installation is put to use in an edible landscape in the artists yard designed by his wife Shannon. Despite the drought this small section of organic corn from the exhibition has grown beautifully. The artists oldest daughter inspects the finished product, photographed by her mother.
The artist self funded this project with the support of many individuals, organizations and businesses. The artists states, “The process of the project is a long time coming, the ideas were conceived in dreams or visions. A rough sketch was made and then eventually turned into a 3-D concept rendering. The New York solo exhibition was approved. I launched the Kickstarter project and put together rewards. I left for eighteen days in New York, where with a great assistance, we gathered the pallets, made the barn, picked up the corn from New Jersey, installed the Overflow work, Bear Heart and the copper prints. After the exhibition was over, I began working on producing the rewards. My wife conceived and we built a visual edible garden with the ‘barn’ as the part of the space. This exhibition will expand and live again, coming full circle to the Union Gallery, at my alma mater, The University of Kansas.”
Bear Heart Concept rendering 2012
Overflow Concept rendering 2012
Images of the installation process in Brooklyn where the pallets to build the barn were gathered with Don Lisy, Leigh Ann Dull (& friend taking photo). The artist unloading the corn. Jimmy Greenfield, Soapbox Gallery owner, loading the 1000 lbs of whole corn in New Jersey. The artist with the structure of the barn as it begins to take shape.
Kickstarter was the platform used to help fund this project. 130 people pledged funds in support of this project and in return received a rewards such as exhibition corn seed packets, Bear Heart Ringspun t-shirts, this exhibition book and catalog, a drawing, prints, posters, wearable sculptures, spalted maple sculptures and more. Christy Tennant Crispin is sporting her Beart Heart t-shirt on the move.
Wearable Sculpture Spalted maple, findings 3” x 1.5” 2011 Private Collection
maple, | Spalted 14” x 6” x 4”
Private Collection, Incheon, Korea
Contact: Darin White email@example.com (785) 764-2216
Lawrence Artist Needs Support to “Overflow” to Make New York Debut a Reality LAWRENCE, KAN. & BROOKLYN, N.Y. (April 4, 2012) – A Lawrence, Kansas-based artist has three days left to reach a funding goal necessary make his New York debut a reality. Darin White – artist, arts advocate and exhibition curator – has been using Kickstarter.com to raise the $5,000 necessary to finance his solo exhibition at an alternative gallery space in Brooklyn this month. As of April 4, the project was 48 percent funded. Adding to the pressure is the fact that for a Kickstarter project to receive any funding, it must be 100 percent funded. The deadline is 5 p.m. CST Saturday, April 7. “With a lack of funding from the State of Kansas for the arts, I have to look for alternative ways to fund this project,” says White. White’s conceptual art exhibition “Overflow” aims to challenge the viewer about the life they are living and asks the provocative question: “What will we do with what we are given?” Part of the large conceptual-based installation and object artwork exhibition will be a miniature barn literally “overflowing” with corn seeds. (White is working with local farmers to make sure the seeds are used after the exhibition.) “I want to conjure thoughts of farmland, barns and brimming silos,” says White. “Seeds are important and are traded as a commodity. Cycles of life happen whether we understand the process or choose to bury our head. Our land resources and life are laid out in front of us, one moment at a time.” White admits that he, like most people, doesn’t fully understand the farming process and desires to know more about the food that makes it to his family’s table. “I want people to start really thinking about where their food comes from,” says White, adding that the exhibition is more than just about food. “It’s about our use of all of our land and all of our resources. We can either choose to do something with it and with our lives or we can be blind to it and pay attention to things that don’t matter.” Anyone can help fund “Overflow” on Kickstarter.com, whether they are able to give one dollar or fund the entire exhibition. Those who give $10 or more will receive a digital catalog of the exhibition; $15 donors receive a seed packet from the exhibition; $25 donors receive a t-shirt; higher level donors will receive signed artwork and other exhibit-related pieces. For more information about the exhibition and a link to make a contribution via Kickstarter, go to www.DarinWhite.com. The opening reception for “Overflow” will be 6-9 p.m. Friday, April 13 at the Soapbox Gallery, 636 Dean Street, Brooklyn, N.Y. The show runs through April 26. ###
A number of articles about this exhibition came about both before and after.
Various articles appeared both in print and online from before and after the New York OVERFLOW exhibition.
The Lawrence Journal-World featured a front page inset and an artist portrait on the front of the Pulse page.
Past work by the artist
Quiver Full 2009
on leather, burned, reclaimed | Fur and adjusted arrows, seeds
36” x 10” x 10” Private Collection, Lawrence, KS Quiver Full embraces the archaic idea of process, as I harvested, skinned, tanned, sewed and burned this leather hide. It deals with the notion of fulfillment, overcoming pain, blessings, love and children. - Photo by Aaron Paden
Purity I 1996
bronze, fabricated steel | Cast 109” x 24” x 12”
This work is in the vein of molten metal cleansing and bringing all of the impurities to the surface to be removed. In this process the metal is stronger, more beautiful and more valuable. - Photo by Aaron Paden
Cast/fabricated bronze, poplar/purple Purity III heart wood, fresh water clam shell (Detail) 56” x 12” x 12” 1996 I found this shell in a lake, it was covered with green algae and mud. It smelled like burned flesh to remove the surface, but now it shines like a pearl. - Photo by Aaron Paden
Gift Wrought steel, steel pipe, acrylic, 2010 found objects 9” x 18” x 7” Gift is a vision of so many things, including life, love, hope. This exploration desires to expand to a large scale work. - Photo by Aaron Paden
cedar wood, hog bone | Carved 12” x 2.5” x 2”
Refining is about the process and removing of those things which we think we cannot, by finding hope.
- Photo by Aaron Paden
Heart Injection Carved/burned cedar wood, cast lead, pin inclusion 2007 12” x 2.5” x 6.25” Heart Injection was carved while trying to find beauty and hope in a sterile hospital with wires and tubes, and chaos.
Appropriate Attire: Union Gallery installation Ashes and Burlap Wood ashes, burlap 56” x 72” x 72” 2012 The Overflow Exhibition moved from Brooklyn, New York to Lawrence, Kansas. As the show traveled, the artwork expanded to include works such as this one, that was transformed from 2-D to 3-D.
PRINTING SOLUTIONS Lawrence, Kansas