Thursday, September 11, 2008

Jeff Jennings at TCA Studio in Houston

Artist Jeff Jennings at TCA Studio, Houston, through September 27, 2008

At Texas Collaborative Arts Studio, Jeff Jennings discusses the inspiration for this group of 10 abstract monotypes with an art patron.
The series, Chittagong Suite, evolved from the artist's fascination with ship breaking or ship demolition. According to Jennings: "At various locations around the world, between 20 and 24 degrees North Latitude, there are places where they take ships apart by hand just as they were built. In many cases it is accomplished without the use of cranes or other types of heavy machinery. After being driven up on the beach at high tide, the ships are cut into pieces using torches and hauled across the beach by hand..." Jennings explained that insurance on old ships becomes prohibitive and they are sold for their scrap value, ending up at ship breaking yards such as those in Alang, India; Brownsville, Texas; Karachi, Pakistan; Shanghai and Xuinhui, China; or Chittagong, Bangladesh.

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This monotype was inspired by a red Russian ship the artist saw in New Orleans.

Getting out of bed, stepping outside of one's home each day is an adventure to be anticipated with relish. Tall Husband and I both love learning esoteric bits in unexpected places. Who would have guessed that we would learn about ship breaking from an artist? On the surface Art and Ship Breaking are miles apart but Jennings pulled the two into one bright point of interest.

Speaking of ship breaking, I must go to prepare for hurricane Ike, who is most unwelcome here on the Texas Gulf Coast. We will not evacuate but are making plans with friends who live closer to the coast than we. They waited for hurricane Rita with us three years ago. We loved having a houseful of interesting adults and children for a week, as they waited for power to be restored to their home. The conversations we had. The stories we exchanged. Stimulating! So they will await Ike's rude arrival with us. I wonder what adventures await us. Ike, you're lemonade!

Tip: Get cash in preparation for Ike, as we may lose power and our plastic will not work.

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