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The Library We Carry With Us

collaboration with artist Siân Barlow

A Little Space Gallery, Wales UK

October 29, 2022

The work will link us together through art made in response to our gardens. The garden of a terraced house in the Gwendraeth Valley in a rural and post-industrial part of East Carmarthenshire, West Wales. And the garden of a Bungalow in Eagle Rock, a Northeast Los Angeles Community in California. Eagle Rock is densely populated urban hills and valleys on Tongva land. Nestled in between the City of Glendale to the West, the City of Pasadena to the East, San Rafael Hills to the North and Los Angeles to the South. 

There is a sense of disconnection that comes from a worldview resting on economics of scarcity and exploitation of people and land. Wendell Berry said "People exploit what they have merely concluded to be of value, but they defend what they love ... and to defend what we love we need a particularizing language, for we love what we particularly know" (Robert MacFarlane, Landmarks, p.10). 
We assert that local and personal actions are necessary to address this disconnection. In this project we reclaim our sense of belonging in our own places, through the work of close attention.

Earth + Sky

collaboration with artist Siân Barlow

at Red Chair Studios, St. Louis, Missouri

October 9 - November 1, 2021


Siân Barlow, Jen Herzig Smith, and Con Christeson met in an online workshop in 2020.

Siân and Jen have remained in touch with weekly discussions, offering each other support and sharing. Their creative work is as similar as it is different. Both are exploring the acts of folding, of dipping and pouring ink on paper, and of using simple resist techniques. Siân’s tiny books are inspired by winter skies over the mountain, and Jen’s bound sculptures are grown out of the earth of her garden.

Con has graciously supported this collaboration, and offered a space in the window of Red Chair Studios for their work to be brought together.