Tarpaulin Muster

Erin Sweeny

Project Statement

In exploring that which we hold and carry, the physical evidence of life is paralleled only by the mysterious substance of its unfolding, imbuing our actions with a deeper significance. Hold fast and carry tight, hold up and carry on. Exploring these themes in an investigation of personal space, I found an unexpected source in the site of a stolen, impounded, and reclaimed 1988 Chevy Silverado K2500 pickup. Utilizing the contents accumulated by its owner and objects discarded by its thieves, Tarpaulin Muster creates a portrait of both experience in time and movement through space. The collection of photographs presents the residual effects of accumulation and loss, while an accompanying video uses footage and audio to emphasize tones of renewal. 

Artist Statement

Though carved from nature, the foundation of place is ultimately rooted in the markings of human time. In the creation and use of structures lasting and temporal, objects precious and mundane, the practical architecture of our lives unwittingly doubles as its richest memorial. Using lens-based media, site-specific installations and subtle interventions, my practice investigates the layered marks of our passage and adaptations employed for survival. Looking at these characteristics of movement in the public and personal sphere, I am drawn to themes of struggle and resilience, ubiquity and reinvention. 

Erin Sweeny was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. After completing undergraduate studies at Seattle University and the San Francisco Art Institute, she received her MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2011. Her work has been exhibited across the country, recently featured in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Little Rock. Residency programs include ACRE (Artists' Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions) and Ox-Bow. Sweeny is currently a contributing writer for Art21's Praxis Makes Perfect series and Carets & Sticks, an international forum for emerging contemporary artists. More information can be found at www.erinsweeny.com.