STATEMENT Travel to new places has always generated imagery for me. The lack of a familiar anchor heightens every sense, and creates an urgency to understand. At times, visual and sensory impressions emerge spontaneously as pulp paintings. By contrast, drawing allows me focused study, analysis, and connection.
Montserrat is a gigantic, imposing, animated presence. I was unprepared for the happenstance of driving by it with my host. A thing to be reckoned with, I stared without speaking so it could live in my head when I reached the studio. So I began my intense relationship with this mountain representing Catalonia. From the deepening acquaintance I was able to carry the sense of the mountain out of Catalonia with me and continue working. The passion to work came from a chance exposure to an entity that made powerful sense to me.
In Kenya for my Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship project, I looked for points of convergence between our early ancestors’ traits, capacities, and habitat. I made drawings of human and animal fossils at the National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi. I camped with scientists at the Smithsonian Institution’s field research site at Olorgesailie, drawing the excavation sites and coming to know the vivid, harsh, physical site itself, infused with evidence of early human presence. The potent bond of landscapes, habitats, and living creatures permeates my practice: as I work, I always wonder, what does the art of human origins look like in my own hand?
BIOGRAPHY Lynn Sures is a Washington, DC-based artist, a recent Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow (SARF), and a current Smithsonian NMNH Research Collaborator in Drawing. In 2021 her work has been seen in Living a Dark Night, curated by Dr. Paula Sengupta, Kala Chaupal Trust, INDIA ; Approach at Toyota City Folk Craft Museum, Kirakutei and Toyota Civic Gallery, JAPAN; and Origins & Destinations, shown at University of Tasmania, AUSTRALIA and the Shanghai Biennale, CHINA.
In 2019 Sures was in residence at the Museo della Carta e della Filigrana in Fabriano, Italy with Tom Leech, collaborating on their book project La Mano dell’Uomo which they completed in Santa Fe, NM in 2021, to be released in December, 2021 by the Press at the Palace of the Governors. Other recent artist residencies were at the Museu Molì Paperer de Capellades, Spain; and the Pittman/Corcoran Residency at San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. In Sri Lanka, she was a U.S. State Department American Artist Abroad.
Her artist books have appeared in several published collections, including the Penland Book of Handmade Books. Her handmade paper artwork is held in collections including the United States Department of State, the US Library of Congress, Yale University, New York Public Library’s Schomburg Collection, the Fabriano (Italy) Museo della Carta e della Filigrana, Alexandria (Egypt) Biblioteca Alexandrina, and the R.C. Williams Museum of Papermaking.
Lynn has been a visiting artist at universities and museums including SMFA/Tufts University in Boston; Washington U., St. Louis, MO; Kyoto Institute of Technology, JAPAN; Universitat de Barcelona, SPAIN; IMOGA Museum, Istanbul, TURKEY; and UNAM University, Mexico City, MEXICO. Sures is 2018-20 President of North American Hand Papermakers; and Founding Director of the Collegiate Handmade Paper Triennial and the Fabriano Paper/Print/Book summer study program. She was guest editor of the 2016 Winter issue of Hand Papermaking magazine, on the papermaking of Italy.