COLLECTIONS > Exhibits > Embracing Strange
October 15 - November 30, 2021
EMBRACING STRANGE at Stanley-Whitman House featured tarot-inspired drawings by Andy Morgan and photography and oddity installations by Luke and Mistina Hanscom, exhibited throughout the history center. The exhibition also included four nights of performances in the historic house.
See Andy Morgan's introduction to the exhibit here.
About Andy Morgan
Andy Morgan conveys emotions through movement and form. During the isolation of the pandemic, he experienced loss and found solace in drawing and along the way was drawn to the Tarot. He found the images iconic and the themes mesmerizing. The Tarot have evolved over time from being Italian “playing cards” into a congregation of images possessing oracular powers. Rather than experiencing them as divinatory, Morgan found them revelatory - capturing essential themes of, and challenges to, one’s life. He further found them to be a source of creativity and a focal point for meditation. The Spiritus Mundi Tarot cards chronicle his life during the pandemic. Its images are primarily solitary and muted with respect to color. Although these Tarot cards capture and illuminate aspects of Morgan's life, he hopes they remain true to their original spirit and provide meaningful reflections to viewers as we all approach a world that is changed; a world into which we are all “Les Revenants.”
During the pandemic, Andy Morgan kept a sketch book and produced a series of drawings and in his words thought "of the present as a 'revenant' experience: After experiencing isolation and loss, during the pandemic I find the present moment to be a challenge to 'return' to the world. It is, however, a return to a new world; the old world has been lost. It has changed by, altered by, the pandemic.
In my art I strive to convey a sense of human experience. During the pandemic, I found myself returning to, and mulling over, questions such as 'Why does this happen? What will happen next? What does the future hold?'
I found myself drawn to the Tarot. Its images are iconic and have evolved over time from being understood as a 'simple deck of Italian playing cards' to being viewed as a constellation of images with oracular power. Over the past year of isolation in the time of COVID, I found myself drawn to the Tarot as a source of both meditation and creativity. Rather than experiencing the imagery as divinatory, I found them revelatory of what it is to be human.
Each of the images in Tarot Major Arcana represent an aspect of being human that I experienced during the past year. As such this series, this Spiritus Mundi set, is a personal chronicle of my life in 2020/2021. It was only after I finished them that I realized that the images that came to me differ from the traditional Tarot images in that -apart from Wheel of Fortune and the World - they are solitary. COVID-19 separated us physically from one another; many of us could not mourn in the company of others. These images came to me spontaneously, in their one time and order and provided comfort.
Although these Tarot capture and illuminate aspects of my personal life, I hope they remain true to the original spirit and meanings of the Tarot and provide meaning to viewers as well."
About Luke and Mistina Hanscom
Mistina and Luke Hanscom are Lotta Studio, an East Coast based image making studio. Specializing in product, editorial and fashion photography, they keep the set design, lighting design, retouching and printing in house. In 2015, Lotta Studio branched out to serve the larger creative community by offering CoWorking and Private studio opportunities, creating an organic collaborative environment.
"Along with our Photographic careers, our investment in the Arts community as a whole (Lotta) is loaded with local collaborations. We value high production team efforts paired with creative workflow." Read more at http://dailynutmeg.com
Le Bal des Revenants (The Spirits Ball)
As part of the exhibit, Stanley-Whitman House presented four nights of an immersive magic show designed to connect the audience to the past, present and future.