The Crit Lab Peekskill Residency
The Dennis Fox Residency
We are so pleased to announce our second residency program, Crit Lab Peekskill! Congratulations to our first residents - Theo Trotter and Lauren Bradshaw!
At The Crit Lab we believe artists can and should share resources and build better ecosystems. In this spirit, in honor of our dear friend Dennis Fox (1955-2019), we have created this residency.
The Crit Lab Peekskill loft was once owned by our dear friend Dennis Fox, who passed away from Leukemia in 2019. Dennis loved art and artists. He was a talented gilder, loving restorer of paintings and frames. The loft is now owned by Crit Lab founder Patricia Miranda, and The Crit Lab is run out of the loft. They are invited to spend a month living and working in this gorgeous Peekskill live/work loft space. There are no costs to the artists for the residency. At this time the residency is by invitation only.
Theo and Lauren spent a productive six weeks living in Peekskill and collaborating on new work. The residency work will be presented at an exhibition at MAPSpace opening on November 12. Click here for details and images of their collaborations. See images from the residency below.
See more info about the residents below- and follow them on instagram at @theotrotter @laurenbradshawart @thecritlab #critlabpeekskill
My primary aim for this residency is to continue my investigation into the relationships between ephemerality, materiality, and the body, utilizing materials that retain an inherent vulnerability due to their softness such as latex, fibers, and textiles. I plan to later combine these soft works with past and/or future ceramic works in order to accentuate the tension between bodily dichotomies. It is my hope that many of these works will be included in an upcoming solo and three-person exhibition that I will be involved with in the near future. I am also eager to collaborate with Theo Trotter as our work both exists at the intersection of corporeality and materiality and has significant overlap in the use of materials, processes, and conceptual content.
Although these sculptures are not directly anthropomorphic, the corporeality of materials is accentuated in rendering the entropic state of our ephemeral bodies. We often avoid thoughts concerning the anatomical systems that function beneath our skin as they reveal our mortality to be tangible. Clay becomes a record of physical process due to its plasticity, which captures moments beyond bodily transience. It is initially manipulated as a soft material, but once fired it gains permanence and loses the ongoing malleability of softness. Soft sculpture challenges the stability and structure typically associated with sculpture due to its elasticity and innate amorphousness. The vulnerability of this formlessness reflects the fragility of our bodies and serves as an interplay between fluctuating levels of material impermanence. Latex and fibers have been utilized in conjunction with ceramic to reveal the tension between dichotomies such as hard versus soft or internal versus external. In response to the abjection of mortality, these works can also be viewed through the lens of existentialism and absurdity, leading to a revolt against meaninglessness. They may reference death and decay, but retain a delicate vulnerability that ultimately suggests the resilience of their existence.
Lauren Bradshaw earned her BA in Studio Art at the University of North Georgia in 2019 and her MFA in Ceramics at Clemson University in 2021. She has been included in several group exhibitions primarily throughout the Southeast. She was recently included in the HEXENTEXTE publication entitled “Dream House: A Collaborative Zine in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of Womanhouse” and spoke at the online symposium, “Dismantling the Body: Possibilities and Limitations in Art Making”, organized by the University of Washington Graduate Students of Art History (GSAH). Her work can be seen at the current 35th Annual “Materials Hard + Soft” International Contemporary Craft Competition and Exhibition and she will have a solo exhibition in October at the Roy C. Moore Gallery on the University of North Georgia Gainesville campus.
A driving motivation behind this residency is the creation of collaborative work. We plan to explore shared themes concerning the body and abjection, as well as the many material affinities between our practices. Solo work that I plan to produce includes a new body of work engaging with the concept of lace as a second skin, as well as the theme of trans childhood, and dichotomies around the “real” vs “artificial.” In this work, I will be utilizing materials such as textiles, latex, medical supplies, and hair. Lastly, I am preparing a performance for this year’s Art in Odd Places, scheduled to take place September 23-25 this year. This performance is titled “Emergence,” and involves sewing over every scar on my body, whether surgical, accidental, or self-inflicted, to represent gender transition as a continuous process of creating the self.
My work references the trans body as a palimpsest, through the marks of transformation and trauma that manifest on it. It deals with the idea of transformation as a necessary and transcendent, but simultaneously painful experience by utilizing the tension between beautiful and disgusting visual elements. This conflict between attraction and repulsion also represents injury and healing. I address visceral bodily experiences at the point where language begins to fail, dealing with, among other things, physical harm to the body, and the injury of forced femininity. I utilize a variety of different media including textiles and latex. What many of my materials have in common is a pliability and fragility that mimics the flesh. I am drawn to other materials, such as lace, because of the closeness and intimacy to the skin that they evoke. Touch is an essential part of my process, and sometimes remains visible in the work as imprints in the materials. I am always in conversation with the materials, at once injuring or harming them, and allowing their nature to shape the trajectory of my work.
Theo Trotter is an artist whose investigates themes around trans experience, memory, and the body. He works with a range of materials including textiles, paper, and latex. He has participated in residencies including most recently the School of Visual Arts summer residency. His work has been included in exhibitions in New York City, where he is currently based, and across the Northeast. He received a BA in Studio Arts from Bard College in 2019.