(From the Cornish College website, article by Mark Bocek)
Apparent odd couple Lauren Iida and Bradley Taylor prove their new collaboration makes perfect sense, shining a new light on Cambodia.
After a look at their separate work, it seems odd that Lauren Iida (AR ’14) and Bradley Taylor (AR ’12) would end up as collaborators. Iida’s work is centered on her work in Cambodia, intricate paper cuttings taken from her personal photos. Taylor’s work is made up of witty, heavily cerebral woodcuts that parody scientists and scientific movements. Yet there it is. The result can be seen starting at 6 p.m. February 6 in their exhibition at the Wheelhouse Coffee shop with the arresting title The Exhibition on Observations of Elliptical Imaging and Quantum Stratigraphical Content. “TEoOoEI&QSC” runs through February 27. There is a reception at the Wheelhouse from 6-8 p.m. on February 6.
Meeting Iida and Taylor, the good sense of their collaboration becomes apparent. First, they point out that Lauren’s paper cuttings and Bradley’s woodcuts share an intricacy and a stark, black-and-white look. Too, there is an easy-going quality to the pair of them which suggests they don’t spend a lot of time squabbling over things. The laughter comes easily as they talk about their work. According to Iida, the superimposition of Taylor’s science-driven imagery on her scenes of life in Cambodia have led to a new way of looking at the future of the country and its accelerating development.
Rolling things back a bit … Lauren Iida is at Cornish finishing her B.F.A. after taking three years off to travel in Cambodia. Although she’s graduating for real in 2014, she presented a video of her experiences in the formerly Khmer Rouge-decimated land in last year’s B.F.A. show. Her fine-tuned eye for detail was on ample display in that video, and it is no less present in her still photos. But Lauren wanted more from her stills. She decided to take the imagery to another level by producing incredibly intricate paper cuttings of them.
While Iida was in Cambodia, Bradley Taylor was finishing up his degree (AR ‘12). Immediately on graduation, Bradley was snapped up for representation by the SAM Gallery. He also joined the staff at Cornish as Print Lab Studio Supervisor. Taylor’s prints are hard to describe. They are accomplished, sophisticated works, and above all, awfully funny. He creates what he calls “lies” about science, a form of high parody, really. His prints encourage the viewer to assess the narratives presented by science and also its cult of personality. Worthy of mention: a Taylor work hangs just outside the board room in Cornish’s Main Campus Center.
Iida gave her photos to Taylor, who transmuted them with his imagery into woodcuts. Thus, in the mash-up, a villager pedals down a country road with a telescope on the back of her bicycle, a pagoda takes on the characteristics of a rocket ship, and so on. Iida then created a paper cut overlay the Taylor riff on her photos. Mixed up in this way, the resulting collaborative works create images in poignant counterpoint, while at the same time suggesting a hopeful future for Cambodia.
Once she has graduated, Lauren plans to move to Cambodia to take up her practice in art and to teach. She is also working on a children’s book that will be published in English and Khmer, with illustrations by her and a selection of other Cornish alumni.
The Exhibition on Observations of Elliptical Imaging and Quantum Stratigraphical Content February 6-27 at Wheelhouse Coffee, 2113 Westlake Ave. Seattle, WA 98121. The Wheelhouse is open weekdays 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. • Saturday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.