Somewhere Between Here and There, 2017-Present
Somewhere Between Here and There, is an on-going body of unique, hand-cut collage work created from the archive of paper ephemera/objects that Vanessa Woods inherited from her deceased mentor, Ken Graves. Part elegy, part eulogy, all the collages in Somewhere Between Here and There engage in a seductive illusion. Each collage reveals a subject navigating a set comprised of layers that can be pulled up or pulled apart to reveal other realms. The manipulation of the physical material serves as a reminder of the ease with which magic may be built, or dismantled. The varying perspectives of space and scale function like a magician’s sleight of hand, continually reorienting the viewer and further referencing artifice, theater and illusion.
Rituals of mourning are also a trope in the work, specifically the Jewish tradition of leaving a pebble on the gravestone as a memento to the deceased’s life. Throughout the collages, stones populate the landscapes or sets, floating mid-air, being pulled by subjects or resting singularly on surfaces. In Border World, a boy–a stand-in for Graves–passes through a doorway from one world to the next. Along the lintel are 6 stones, Woods’ parceled griefs and memories of Ken. The ongoing creation of this work implicates Graves’ continued presence Woods’ life, and functions as a collaboration between worlds, space and time—Somewhere Between Here and There.
"Over and over, the works in Somewhere Between Here and There invoke not only the borderlands of dreams but the shadow world inhabited by those we mourn. Serving both as elegies and remembrances, Vanessa Woods’ collages navigate the place between memory and history; the known, and the lost, evocations of the liminal place between life and the vast unknown beyond, where the recently-dead linger in our memories-- remaining just beyond our reach, as we come to grips with loss; still speaking to them, even if only silently."