"A Year in the George's River Watershed: Elizabeth Billings and Michael Sacca"


Caldbeck Gallery is pleased to exhibit the new work of Elizabeth Billings and Michael Sacca; the pair are the inaugural 2013 Artists in Residence to the George's River Land Trust.

Below is an excerpt from the George's River Land Trust Summer 2013 Newletter

"Meet Our Artists in Residence

Artists have long been inspired by the natural beauty of Maine, and the midcoast has a particularly long and strong tradition of place-inspired art making.  We are fortunate to have found a partner in the K2 Family Foundation that seeks to foster sustainability and create opportunitities for artists whose work incporates sicentific awareness and concerns.  And so it is with great pleasure that we are launching an artist-in-residence program!

The artist-in-residence program offers professional visual artists, performing artists, and writers the opportunity to pursue their artistic disciplines while being inspired by the area's extraordinary landscape.  The artists will have access to many of the Land Trust's holdings as a resource for creating new site-inspired or site-specific work.

Elizabeth Billings and Michael Sacca share a similar visual aesthetic, and approach their work from diverse vantage points: photography, cinematography and the use of digital media on one hand, drawing, gathering, weaving and installation art on the other.  Using the diversity of these techniques and the common ground of the Georges River, their goal is to visually portray the essence of the watershed and their connection to it through all four seasons."

Here's an excerpt from Elizabeth and Michael's blogpage  (billingsandsacca.comdocumenting their thoughts and work, season by season:

The Residency

Preserving wild lands and conserving our environment comes out of a deep connection with the natural world. Connecting to nature through a combination of digital imaging and work made by hand is the underlying concept of this residency.

Our collaborative investigation into the Georges River watershed concentrates on several Georges River Land Trust properties over the course of a year. Sharing a similar visual aesthetic, we approach our work from diverse vantage points: photography, cinematography and the use of digital media on one hand, drawing, gathering, weaving and installation art on the other. Using the expanse between these techniques and the common ground of the Georges River, our goal is to visually portray the essence of the watershed and our connection to it.

Our residency takes us through an entire year of observing seasonal changes in the watershed. In early December we made a visit to the area and identified the Gibson Preserve and Eagles Way Preserve as two potential sites for the residency work. The relative remoteness and large acreage of Searsmont and the expansive marsh, open woods and river access in Warren are rich with possibilities. We plan to continue to broaden our understanding of the range of properties as well as to walk portions of the Georges Highland Path and kayak portions of the Georges River.

The residency is composed broadly in two parts: the collaboration in the making and then in the exhibition of the work, both deeply exciting. Using our combined artistic techniques, we begin our outreach with a blog as a public journal/exhibition visually documenting our travels, reflections and thoughts. The blog allows and encourages regular and careful consideration of the progressing artwork. During the residences, we will invite the public and Georges River Land Trust members to local food potluck picnics on and beside the River and on other properties. In this way, we connect to the people and the food of the area and they to us. At the end of the year of visual exploration, our combined artwork and blog entries are edited together into a chapbook and an exhibition of the artwork, celebrating the watershed and the residency.
Red Pine-Scotch Pine

Warren white oaks trapezoid

We have spent years developing and honing our varied artistic techniques making visible our connection with nature. Having the singular focus of the watershed from two quite different artistic disciplines is both intriguing and challenging. A collaborative residency invites conversations to take place reflecting on the new body of work. This creates the potential to move our individual explorations more quickly and intensely. We believe taking this personal risk enlivens the work and allows for new creative paths.

 

Elizabeth Billings and Michael Sacca are the artists-in-residence for The Georges River Land Trust and K2 Family Foundation throughout the 2013 year.