AN OBJECT LESSON

Markel Uriu

Hedreen Gallery | March 11- May 18, 2019

An Object Lesson is a solo exhibition by Markel Uriu, whose work investigates the narratives and rhetorics surrounding “invasive species” of plants and animals. This exhibition will focus specifically on the legacy of the starling, a European bird introduced to North America in 1890 on the grounds of the bird’s mention in Shakespeare’s play Henry IV.



In the Artist's Words 

My work deals with impermanence, maintenance, and decay. I use organic materials to create pieces that are always in flux, highlighting and measuring time. Their creation is invested with care, reflected in the presence of the hand, the repetitive processes, and mundane rituals needed for them to emerge. Repetitive arrangements create a visual rhythm, evoking the cyclical nature of living: the heartbeats, breaths, and blood flow essential to life, and reflect my interest in feminine labor: quiet, vital and overlooked. Accumulations create space to reflect on acts of emotional endurance and the fragility of what is built.


I am interested in the fluidity and complexities that exist within our histories. I explore this using my personal experience as a multiracial Yonsei, someone in the 4th generation away from Japan. As a mixed American, I exist in a space between cultures. Engaging with the simultaneous rift and connection felt to my heritage, I must often rely on my own interpretations of cultural traditions, even as the traditions shift with generational change. This process is shown with my pieces themselves, which, continuously build and, despite the time and labor devoted to them, decay to the point that only an echo remains.


These interests in time, cycles, and cultural interaction have spawned a fascination with invasive species. Through these lenses and processes, I am exploring the nature of invasive species, their environmental impacts, and their links to humanity, globalization, and colonialism. With the increase of movement of humanity, more and more organisms have moved with them. As a result, invasive species have contributed to drastic shifts in the landscape itself, creating physical manifestations of history and narratives of the people that move them.

–Markel Uriu, 2018

 

Image of entire exhibition of installation art, production studio, and works on paper by Markel Uriu, installed at Hedreen Gallery

Markel Uriu, An Object Lesson, as installed at Hedreen Gallery. Spring 2019. Photo Joe Freeman Jr.

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Image of an exhibition of installation art and works on paper by Markel Uriu, installed at Hedreen Gallery

Markel Uriu

Installation view of An Object Lesson installed at Hedreen Gallery

Photo by Joe Freeman Jr.

closeup image of installation art by Markel Uriu, many scans of starlings printed on paper

Markel Uriu

(detail) Nay, I’ll have a starling shall be taught to speak nothing but ‘Mortimer,’ and give it him to keep his anger still in motion. (PNW murmuration)

Starling skins, starling scans, insect pins

Photo by Joe Freeman Jr.

Image of artwork by Markel Uriu, scans of invasive species of plants and animals printed on paper and woven together

Markel Uriu

The Human Dimensions of Biotic Homogenization (Pangea Revisited) 

scans of invasive species of plants and animals printed on paper and woven together

Photo by Joe Freeman Jr.

detail image of installation art by Markel Uriu, many scans of starlings printed on paper

Markel Uriu

(detail) Nay, I’ll have a starling shall be taught to speak nothing but ‘Mortimer,’ and give it him to keep his anger still in motion. (PNW murmuration)

Starling skins, starling scans, insect pins

Photo by Joe Freeman Jr.

Image of an exhibition of installation art and works on paper by Markel Uriu, installed at Hedreen Gallery

Markel Uriu

Installation view of An Object Lesson installed at Hedreen Gallery

Photo by Joe Freeman Jr.

Image of exhibition of installation art, production studio, and works on paper by Markel Uriu, installed at Hedreen Gallery

Markel Uriu

Installation view of An Object Lesson installed at Hedreen Gallery

Photo by Joe Freeman Jr.

Artist Bio


Markel Uriu is an interdisciplinary artist based in Seattle, WA. Her work explores impermanence, maintenance, and the unseen. Drawing from her Japanese and Irish-American heritage, she is particularly interested in liminal spaces and explores these concepts through ephemeral botanical narratives and two-dimensional work. Her subjects of time, cycles, and cultural interchange have culminated in a fascination with invasive species. Her current work explores the nature of invasive species, their environmental impacts, and their links to humanity, colonialism, and globalization.


Markel received her BA from Whitman College in 2011. She is the recipient of various awards and residencies, most recently the 2018 Amazon Artist in Residence, and the 2016-2017 Artbridge Fellow at Pratt Fine Arts Center. She is a member of the Lion's Main Art Collective for Queer and Trans Artists, Seattle and SOIL Gallery, Seattle, and has shown throughout the United States.

 *The banner image at the top of this page features artwork by Carol Rashawnna Williams (2019), Romson Regarde Bustillo (2019), Sanctuary City Project (2019-20), and E.T. Russian (2019-20).

 

Hedreen Gallery

Lee Center for the Arts (CNFA)

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