Anne Lindberg is a 2009 alumni of Art Omi, currently exhibiting "fold and unfold" in the Omi gallery. Since her residency, Lindberg has continued to create large-scale graphite drawings, as well as sculptural and architectural works. She has brought her drawings off the walls with more than a dozen site-specific thread installations throughout the country – including The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, and Pittsburgh's Mattress Factory – projects which evolved from her time at Omi. We sat down with Anne to talk about how her work has been influenced by the Art Omi residency.
Omi: Is there a connection between your work in the gallery and your time as an Omi resident?
AL: There is a very direct relationship between the installation in the gallery and the experimentation in the barn during my residency. I was in an upstairs studio in the barn, and in the center there was a milky corrugated plastic skylight. The light in the space was a cool purpley blue color. Our meals were served under a blue tarp by the barn, and there were often bowls of fresh peaches. I found myself very drawn to the way the peach behaved under the blue light. That blue and yellow light condition was something I kept encountering during the residency. I was making graphite drawings, and I'd brought gray thread with me, but I quickly found myself in a fabric store in Albany buying lots of bright yellow thread as a complement to the blue light. A little aside: I was one of the few Americans among the 30 residents. When we drove to Albany to get the thread, I was in the car with Amal Laala, a Moroccan and Finnish artist who grew up in Australia, Dorothy from Ghana, Orhan from Turkey and Debesh from India – all driving to a fabric store in Albany. It was remarkable.
Omi: Had you been working with thread when you started your residency?
AL: At that point I had started exploring thread, but I had not yet stitched the architecture with it. I wanted to see color in the air. I wanted to see the drawings I was creating become airborne and, in that sense, about light. The result was an extremely crude version of what's in the gallery now. It was visually interesting, but not engineered well. I was twisting thread around straight pins in plywood walls. I hadn't figured it out, but I could see there was something happening that I should work on.
Omi: How did the Art Omi residency influence your work moving forward?
AL: David Hughes, the Director of the Charlotte Street Foundation, which sent me to Omi, came to opening day in the barn and he invited me to make a small commissioned piece in his home. That really allowed me to work out the fabrication, engineering and material relationships. The residency gave me time away from my normal workspace and a fresh mindspace to explore how to draw in air. I began to define what drawing could be in larger terms than I had before. All the work I've done since feeds off the exploration that happened here at Omi.