Craig Calderwood, See You in Hell, From Heaven
September 8 – October 6, 2018
Reception: Saturday, September 8 | 6-9pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, September 22 | 6-8pm
Place: the luggage store | 1007 Market St. (@6th) San Francisco, CA 94103
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Saturday | 12-5pm
“See You in Hell, From Heaven” is the culmination of two years of work by Craig Calderwood that looks at the functions of low craft materials as a tool for survival and expressing desire. Through paintings and sculpture whose surfaces are flooded with deep narrative, Calderwood explores materials and techniques which helped to move through hostile environments as a queer child. These pieces whose materiality flexes between painting, drawing, and textile are constellations that detail particular themes around love, trauma, and gender in a coded lexicon of patterns and textures.”
Notes from the artist, “See you in Hell, From Heaven”
“The phrase ‘see you in hell, from heaven’ is not being proclaimed by me, or the work necessarily, in fact it might be being said to us. I’m not trying to create an iteration of heaven, but I am trying to create an augmented representation of reality. These spaces are attempts at creating constellations around a particular idea or subject. Those even in their dense brilliant static are incomplete conversations. I do not believe they hold universal empathy in their overworked ornamentation, But I do believe they help me understand my experiences around different kinds of pain and joy. When you experience something intensely everything around you in that moment is being imprinted on you, the smell of the space, the textures of the objects, the patterns, faces, The taste in your mouth all get wrapped up in the event. This is an important way of understanding how I approach making my work. Everything is chosen for a particular reason, to reference something, to balance something, to complicate something.
When I started conceptualizing this body of work, I wanted to simply approach the work on a material level, to explore Low-craft, to find what its functions are and to better understand what it does for me now vs. when I was a child. Soon after I began this work I realized how difficult it is for me to not weave a story into the pigments, fibers, and pens strokes of my work. I couldn’t just let the work be about the feeling you get when you see it, the sentimentality of the materials. I don’t see this as a failing, but more as a reinforcement of what I find most exciting about art making. That I can communicate the highly personal in a coded way, That I can allow these inside jokes to remain sacred, while still giving the viewer enough to have their own experience with the work.”
About the artist:
A self-taught artist, Craig Calderwood’s obsessively intricate drawings and sculpture deal with trans/queer identity, biodiversity, and continued attempts to “normalize” desire. Maneuvering through non-verbal communication, Calderwood employs bright, intricate patterns of hidden (and sometimes blatant) symbolism in her work to portray complex narratives engaging the highly personal to the fantasized. Calderwood has exhibited at SFAC Gallery, SOMArts, Root Division, and Los Angeles’ ONE Archive. She has been featured in, RADAR Productions’ programming, Serrote, and The New Museums Anthology Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility. Hailing from the San Joaquin Valley, they now live and work in San Francisco, CA.
KQED Arts article Craig Calderwood Complicates and Queers Craft Supplies