I’m not very comfortable with words. There are other types of language, and for me I think making art has become a way of interacting with the world that isn’t so word based. A way to make thoughts subject to accident and time in the way that embodied things are.
I’m trying to understand the world through my body, a thing that is also subject to gravity and accident and time, with limits and a fixed perspective. I’m interested in the points of contact between what I can identify as me, and the outside. I don’t think things are as separate as they feel.
Lately I’ve been doing work with sugar and candies, specifically saltwater taffy. I was initially attracted to the consistency—semi-solid—sticky, stretchy, slow. Like magma. I love the colors found in candies. And the relationship of color to flavor.
We eat for pleasure. There is nothing necessary about cakes shaped like faces or footballs or flowers. Or Food coloring. Or jello towers.
It’s all temporary, made to be cut up and shared and consumed— but so much effort goes into how it looks and I love that.
I like that the making of food is something that has to be repeated— You have to make the coffee again every morning.
I love transformations—Like yeasted bread dough rising, or the stages of sugar. I’m interested in change, different rates of change, visual histories of change—ways of experiencing that—condensed so you get it all at once, like a type of geologic evidence. Or stretched out so it’s hard to observe because it’s so gradual…
My initial attraction to the edible substances was just for the material behaviors; unfixed, malleable, jiggly. But I also like the edibility in itself—for me it changes the visual relationship, knowing what it feels like in the mouth—chewy, melting, soft—and how it tastes.
Food is an easy point of connection—we make it part of us when we eat it.
This piece was originally published in Monday.
Monday is a limited-edition journal focused on critical art writing in the Pacific Northwest. Published twice a year by the Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design, it is a platform to support emerging new and established critical voices and to help spur new ideas.
Each issue of Monday is thematically driven, highlighting artists’ writings alongside other diverse perspectives on a particular topic. The inaugural issue of Monday will be titled Material Performance, focusing on materiality and transformation. It will be released with a run of 250 hard-bound copies in early 2018 and will be available at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery and in select bookstores across the country.
Monday expands on the legacy of the The Jake Journal, created for and by students and published by the gallery between 2014 and 2016. Since 2017, the Jacob Lawrence Gallery has been hosting a series of gatherings for writers and artists to explore the intersection of theory and practice within contemporary art. Reviews and essays from those gatherings will be published for the first time in Monday.
Born 1986 in San Francisco, CA, Francesca Lohmann currently lives and works in Seattle. She holds a BFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design, and an MFA from Cornell University. Lohmann has exhibited at numerous venues in the Pacific Northwest, and was a finalist for the 2017 Brink Award administered by the Henry Art Gallery. Her work is concerned with material in time and circumstance, with boundaries, limits, points of contact, and being finite.