TYNA ONTKO, 2015
Characterized by the act of gathering disparate objects and congealing them into singular forms, my time at Residency 108 was spent mining the landscape for discarded materials, and reinvigorating them through a combination of cyanotype and poured plaster sculpture. Many of the objects found on the 108 acre property were once of use value imbued with specific purpose, for tilling soil, harvesting grain, shoeing horses, directing water, etc. Flattened, they lose any vestige of utilitarian function and become abstract.
Titled after Maggie Nelson's 2009 novel Bluets, the finished pieces exist simultaneously as images and as idiosyncratic forms proposing questions of individual perception and categorization. Redundant, yet unique, symmetrical in form, yet visually diverse, dictated by chance as much as by choice, they are products of the most basic of systematic process: to observe, understand, and record. They are ultimately physical objects with a unique relationship to the space they occupy, and that which surrounds them.
I was raised in a small town on the Kitsap Peninsula-- Bremerton, Washington, known primarily as home to the Bangor Naval Base and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Where the ship building business booms during war time and suffers economic hardship during times of relative peace, the objects I make seek ties to my homeland tradition, through a nonpartisan purpose.