• Interior Landscape Residency

A River is a Tunnel

Iris Stratman and Kayla Taylor

15 Jul–29 Jul 2022

Space p11’s underground gallery serves as the spawning point for a miniature world. Drawing inspiration from the shaping of the Anthropocene, the artists unravel the puzzle that is worldbuilding, making connections from each element to the other. A river cuts through the space: dissolving; extracting; and feeding one landscape to the next. Alongside the river, Iris and Kayla fostered a symbiotic artistic relationship in the space, executing both individual and collaborative intertwining components. As a whole, these pieces create an evolving ecosystem that replicates the intertwined nature of the artists themselves. The artists take on different characters, such as a gravedigger, a ghost, a farmer, and an angel to provide resources as well as obstacles for the world they built. Through this, the artists build a world that aims to reflect on how life is formed, mythologies are built, and tools are rendered through collaboration.

Iris Stratman is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist who likens her current body of work as toenails clippings; gross by nature but there is a subtle beauty in those pale crescents; an embrace of fixation. ​Drawing inspiration from biology, consumerism, and the collective unconscious, she translates humanity's ceaseless pursuit of pleasure through various mediums such as video, sculpture, and printmedia. Although her body of work is heterogeneous from aesthetics to interpretation, everything she makes directly relates to the grim reality of the Anthropocene. She indulges in the natural human inclination to create spaces of beauty, poetry, and unity while finding humor in the absurdity of what society has perverted for their own personal and financial gain. Both chaotic and refined; a true sign of the times.

Kayla Taylor is a multimedia artist, sculptor, illustrator, designer, exploring new visions for our relationships with the land and each other, the human desire to detach oneself from nature, and the joy that can be found in reconnecting. Their artworks are explorations of the interdependency between all things, human, non-human, plant, animal, mineral, and machine. Through research and art-making, they reveal the ways in which the natural and modern world have the potential to overlap with intense beauty and harmony.

Photos by Nathan Keay