Sharon Antholt, Downpour, sunlight and magnifying glass on nepaleses paper,26 x 16 in, 2019
Sharron Antholt builds hanging pieces with layers of Nepalese paper then uses the power of the sun and a magnifying glass to burn holes in specific patterns occasionally coloring with gold leaf or ink. In this way she marks time and place in what has become for her a meditative art form.
Born and raised in California, Antholt spent her summers in Jenner on the coast, where her grandmother lived. When she was 21 she traveled to Pakistan to visit her father who was working on a water project in Lahore. Pakistan was like nothing Antholt had experienced and she wanted to have time to absorb it so she enrolled in the Art Department at Lahore University and stayed for a year.
At the end of that year she had the opportunity to live in Nepal for five years and later for a year in Sri Lanka and then three years in India. These experiences have continued to be an important influence in her work.
Between sojourns in the Indian sub-continent Antholt received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and she lived for a number of years in the Washington DC area where she also exhibited her work. She moved to Bellingham, WA in 1996 to teach at Western Washington University and now lives on Lummi Island.
"In these drawings I am burning holes in paper using an ordinary magnifying glass and sunlight. It is a simple activity that requires no special tools or instruction; in fact, most people have done it at some point growing up. The idea to use sunlight as a drawing tool came from wanting to make work that was less personal, less about me. “Is it possible to make marks in my drawing that I don’t make?” was a question I asked in an informal critique of my work four years ago. Someone suggested making marks using a magnifying glass and sunlight. A few days later I found an old magnifying glass in my desk and began experimenting with the idea. Because I was using thin paper my “marks” turned out to be holes, which I saw, right away, added another layer of possibilities.
The paper I am using, Lokta paper, is made in Nepal. I have used the paper in my work many times since but I have never left it so exposed. In these drawings the paper itself is a significant part of the work.
The process has taught me some interesting things about collaborating with nature. Nature is there in the paper and the use of sunlight, and despite my effort to have less of myself in these drawings, my decisions about size, shape, edge, surface, and countless other things make the work what it is."
i.e. is pleased to present this body of work in a solo exhibit: Burn Drawings
Spangled, 2019, ink and sunlight, using a magnifying glass on Nepalese paper over gold leaf, 5” x 4”