Exhibition Archives

Back to WEIR FARM: VISITING ARTISTS 2001 Exhibit Info

Maureen Cummins

GHOST DIARY, 2001, Limited Edition artist's bookvintage glass negatives, transparencies, cloth,7 x 5 x 3 inchesGHOST DIARY, 2001
Limited Edition artist's book
vintage glass negatives, transparencies, cloth,
7 x 5 x 3 inches

The year I spent at Weir Farm was a time of inspired peripatia, the work created was the result of both real and imaginary meanderings. The first pieces I produced, Artist's Books, Inventory, and Ghost Diary, made direct use of images, texts and objects unearthed in the Farm's extensive archive. The next crop of work, Current Events, Archive of Memory, and Declining Futures was an unusual group of hybrids, mixtures of the wild and the cultivated. In content, these works seriously address issues of the earth and environment, while in form they playfully reference the rarefied materials and carefully preserved ephemera found in libraries and archives. "Cataloguing" nature in this way led to a consideration of the darker aspects of collecting and to a work on paper that is visually reminiscent of a naturalist’s notebook. Entitled Life Cycle of an Emerging Artist, it presents images and experiences from an artist’s life in which an exotic species is dissected and classified.

The final work included in the exhibit was a response to the story of J. Alden Weir's first wife, Anna, who died within days of giving birth to her daughter Cora. In the piece entitled Elegy for Anna, I explore the conflicting and contradictory emotions that must arise when birth and death coincide.

Maureen Cummins is a graduate of The Cooper Union and has been making works on paper and artist's books for over ten years. Her work is included in over one hundred public and private collections in the US, as well as in collections in Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and South America. Institutional collectors include The Brooklyn Museum, The National Gallery, Walker Art Center, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Ms. Cummins has received over a dozen major grants and awards and was recently invited to spend the summer as a resident artist at the Museum of Modern Art in Ireland. She currently lives and works in Park Slope, Brooklyn.