Using archaic and archetypal elements to express nature’s invisible forces, Annie Lindberg explores the interaction of objects with space. In her piece, Traveling Stones, 2018, the stones journeys thorough space and time are made visual through embroidery, collage, drawing, and linoleum printing. The impact of living and traveling in the wide open spaces of the American West can be seen in Totemic Being with Wheels, 2017, where a geometric figure interacts with a spacious environment. By combining map tracings of pathways taken through Paris into totemic beings she creates a new version of Paris as experienced by foreigners.

Artist Statement

I am fascinated by the quantum mechanics concepts of wave-particle duality and the observer-effect. Using these concepts of duality and how things change once observed, my current series is a reflection on the vast migrations of people and animals resulting from unrest and shrinking habitable environments. Maps drawn in Paris merge into totemic beings as a lens through which to explore cultural identity and how place is altered by our observation and the meaning we put to it. I am exploring the symbols and stories we carry along with us to adapt the unfamiliar and the foreign to personal narratives and how we locate ourselves in space.

The series began during a month long stay in Paris. I traced the walks I took through the city and revisited the steps taken by embroidering these maps on thick paper. I discovered a kinship between the geometric shapes of these maps and the totemic beings that populate mythologies and art of the American West. Growing up in a small town in northern New Mexico, my own worldview and cultural identity is heavily influenced by these visuals and narratives. Operating as both observer and participant, I feel I am developing a language or hieroglyphics to convey my experience of being in a foreign city and country. 

One of my goals is to show the totemic beings existing at a threshold between drawn two-dimensional maps and movement in space. I envision the map totemic beings as having a sculptural quality to create a tension between two and three dimensions. I combine embroidery, a quiet inside and historically female pursuit, with mapmaking, a historically masculine pursuit of adventure and conquest. 

Birds and stones are used to express differing rates of movement and the forces that compel movement. Birds in flight are observable, swift, and their migration patterns have been charted. A stone’s journey is much slower, affected by many forces that could be happening quite far away, for example a glacier melting and causing rising tides that then dislodge a stone from where it has been for thousands of years. 

For this series, I am creating a visual language of thresholds in the process of transforming: the contrasts of near and far, of interior/exterior, stationary/movement, and of two and three dimensions. As I continue on the series, I envision documenting others’ experience of dislocation and creating pieces that immerse the viewer in this other world, reflecting how place is viewed by a foreigner and how cultural identity influences our experience of space.

 annie lindberg 2018 © all rights reserved