Covered up in Dailiness
Elizabeth Arzani + Renee Couture
January 6—28, 2024
Opening ReceptionSaturday, January 6, 5-8 pm
Artist TalkSaturday, January 27, 1 PM
Open HoursSat-Sun 12-5pm
drop in or by appointment
to schedule a visit
Exhibition Statement“…an ordinary life was an obscure life, if we can extend the meaning of obscure to mean covered up by dailiness, glorious dailiness, shameful dailiness, dailiness that is difficult to figure out, that is not always clear until a long time afterward. Obscure: not readily noticed, easily understood, or clearly expressed. Which is a pretty good definition of life.”
-”I Remember, I Remember” by Mary Reufle
From poetry to photography, language to line, sculpture to screen printing, or ceramics to collage, Elizabeth Arzani and Renee Couture each draw from experiences embedded in repetitive routines and patterns of their respective everyday.
The complexity of loving and wanting to feel loved in return.
For Arzani, mining an archive of daily writing and collecting results in a series of “erasure poems”: a selection of words revealed against redacted sentences, simultaneously adding and subtracting. Words from the past shape-shift in the present, appearing in iterations and echoes—(w)holes—undulating between legible and illegible.
Meanwhile, Couture pulls from the many (small, big) moments of motherhood, with its romantic imagery and contradicting reality. Time is held together by bursts of flimsy starts and abrupt stops. Days are swallowed whole, filled with lines that have neither a beginning nor an end—leaving only a brief space in-between, a hole to pause and hear the sound of a deep breath: inhale, exhale. Repeat.
About the ArtistsElizabeth Arzani is an interdisciplinary artist and educator living and working in Portland, Oregon. As a collector of sorts, her work is rooted in storytelling, offering a form of communication that extends language. Arzani has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally, most recently in Perth, Western Australia. She has collaborated on public art installations with Shunpike’s Storefronts Project in Seattle and has participated in artist residencies at Kulturschapp (Walferdange, Luxembourg) and New Harmony Clay Project (New Harmony, IN). Arzani has received grants from the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Ford Family Foundation and the Oregon Arts Commission. Shei holds an MFA in Visual Studies from Pacific Northwest College of Art and a BFA in Painting and Art Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Since becoming a mother four years ago, Renee Couture has made work addressing her relationship with motherhood through a diverse practice, encompassing sculpture, photography, and drawing. She is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship and three Career Opportunity Grants from the Oregon Arts Commission, and four Project Grants from the Douglas County Cultural Coalition. Couture has been granted residencies at Ucross Foundation, Djerassi, Jentel, PLAYA, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Pine Meadow Ranch, and Vermont Studio Center. Currently, Couture lives on seven acres in rural southern Oregon with her husband, toddler daughter, and two dogs. She works out of a retrofitted 20-foot camper-turned studio space located in her garden.
Jay Ponteri is the author of Someone Told Me, Darkmouth Inside Me, and Wedlocked. Additionally, his essays have appeared in many literary journals. Currently, he is the program head of PNCA’s Low-Residency Creative Writing program.
photo credit: Mario Gallucci