54 1/2 E. San Francisco St. #7
August 4 - September 29, 2018
In Niomi Fawn’s professional life, anywhere and everywhere could be an art venue. They’re the owner of Curate Santa Fe, a company that injects challenging artwork into quotidian spaces across town. In a new solo exhibition at Strangers Collective’s NO LAND art space, Fawn shifts focus from the public sphere to the most intimate context. Wild Home, a rare display of the curator and artist’s own work, explores genderqueer identity, domesticity, and a return to a primordial, non-binary state of knowing and being. “It’s a jungle in there,” they say. The exhibition debuts at NO LAND on Saturday, August 4 from 6 to 9 pm. Fawn will host an event series over the course of the show, with an evening of performances by Jessie Deluxe and Niomi Fawn on September 1, 7 pm, and an artist talk on Wednesday, September 26 at 6:30 pm. Fawn will appear at a closing reception on September 29, 6 to 9 pm.
“Niomi is a force on Santa Fe’s art scene. They’re truly ubiquitous,” says NO LAND co-director Jordan Eddy. Fawn spearheads the curatorial programs of Iconik Coffee Roasters and ART.i.factory Gallery, and has organized major exhibitions in spots like Santa Fe Community College and Freeform Art Space. They’ve even unleashed a show on the streets of Santa Fe consisting of sculptural bike hitches by local artists. “When the idea for this solo show came up, our whole dynamic shifted into these private moments,” Eddy says. “We mostly planned the show on Niomi’s front porch—in this zone between home and nature—which really connects with how they’re going to transform NO LAND.”
Wild Home is an art exhibition and an immersive installation, drawing the viewer into a fantastical setting that intertwines a domestic space with a lush forest. “I’m thinking about the time before time,” says Fawn. “It’s this question of, what was it like to be human and be connected before there was all this language that tried to homogenize us? What was it like to be in congress with nature?” Elements of the show include paper and wood sculptures dyed with a Japanese technique called suminagashi, aluminum plates bearing digitally distilled images of nature that Fawn calls “neo-pastiche" prints, and a large-scale, mixed-media sculpture that’s both furnishing and altar.
“I want to make objects that feel like artifacts of a time gone by, or maybe like old bones that you’d find in the forest,” says Fawn. “When you see something like that, you want to preserve and protect it, to bring it home.” The artist sees a strong connection between nature and the domestic space: both are sanctuaries that allow us to shed rigid societal labels and embrace more complex conceptions of our identities. “For a lot of people, especially genderqueer people, you go out in the world and you’re trapped in this filter and it’s exhausting,” Fawn says. “I get home and I get to be myself. I can kiss the person I love on the cheek and I’m not afraid that someone’s going to harm me. If you’re out in nature, it’s the same way. No bear’s going to say, ‘I don’t think so!’” Fawn hopes to inspire viewers to celebrate the unique and intimate relationship that humans and nature possess, and remember that it reflects our true rhythms.
Niomi Fawn is a queer artist currently living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They grew up in California and Hawaii. The art of Niomi Fawn developed from a technique dubbed neo-pastiche, which brought digital tools and visions to traditional collage in an effort to recontextualize familiar images and, through creative juxtaposition, to create new statements from old concepts. Neo-pastiche is primarily a two-dimensional technique and, while it remains a vital component of Niomi Fawn's art, they have been applying the theories of the technique on a wider scale - moving into a third dimension and blurring the boundaries that too often separate art and audience. Their latest works involve the creation of objects, informed but not limited by neo-pastiche, which are placed in natural and constructed environments, gradually transforming the surroundings and fuzzing the lines between the artistic and non-artistic worlds. Niomi Fawn was part of the Meow Wolf art collective from 2010 through 2014. They have since left to form Curate Santa Fe. They also work with Victory Grrrls.