A Journal of Art Criticism

Published by the South Bay Area Women's Caucus for Art
Volume 6, Number 2, 1999

Spring Streams, Performance, by Nancy Tieken Lopez, 1997.

Artists in Relation to the Landscape

" Julia Bradshaw " Teresa Hauge Giovanzana "
" Nancy Grieves " Christine Laffer "
" Rebecca Palmer " Paulette Peterson "


From the Editor:

The century quickly moves to its end. We watch the days, minutes, hours speed towards an abstract numerical goal and we are counting them as if that would prepare us.

It is a good time to assess our relation to the landscape, to look at where we have been and where we are going. As we turn our heads to look back, the flow of time will not freeze and allow us to contemplate what we have done before we step ahead. So we must look twice as we go forward- quickly enough look again at what we have barely come to see. The land changes slowly enough that it makes this way of looking seem possible. It gives each of us a space to see in.

Landscape dauntingly seems beyond personal power, yet paradoxically, the statement "as within, so without," also holds true. Landscape reflects individual and cultural history and myth, including both negligence and excess as well as responsible stewardship. The landscapes in our lives have at some level been symbolic of our identities, sometimes grounding and sometimes unsettling. Art has the potential, through critical thinking and emotional expansion to help communities imagine and shape the landscape that is to come.

Viewing the land as both ideological and material substance converts it into a landscape that places us in a god-like position of shaper and creator, a position that many of us analyze and deconstruct. In the Bay Area in particular, there are constant struggles between the forces for continuing economic development, for preserving natural environments, and for defining a place to stay. The artists in this issue of (detail) have found piercingly effective ways to examine these positions of viewing.

Christine Laffer, Chief Editor
Helen Wood, Assistant Editor


Artists in Relation to the Landscape

Copyright 1999 South Bay Area Women's Caucus for Art. All rights reserved. No part of the contents may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher.

(detail) is made possible in part by the City of San José Arts Commission and by a grant from Arts Council Silicon Valley.

EDITORS: Christine Laffer, Helen Wood
ART DIRECTOR: Alayne Yellum
PROMOTIONS: Sarah Ratchye
WEB DESIGNER: Saelon Renkes

Please send letters to: Editor, 88 Brooklyn Avenue, San Jose, CA 95128.

The South Bay Area Women's Caucus for Art is an organization of 200 arts professionals. Our purpose is to educate the public about the contribution of women to the arts and to ensure inclusion of women in the history of art, while respecting differences in age, religion and cultural heritage. Women and men interested in membership please call 408-286-5428.