May 2 - May 9, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 4, 6:00-7:00pm
Double Change Poetry Reading: 7:00 - 8:30pm
“Laynie Browne sent me some stunning lines from her poetry manuscript Amulet Sonnets, very dense, strange and sonorous, while I was doing text drawings at my studio in Crown Heights, and asked a few poet friends for lines. These are not illustrations but extensions of lines so that there’s a connection and exploration of the way words reach into the spaces around them and imagine for us what cannot be said. People looking at the drawings responded especially to this collaboration, so I went further, and did three complete sonnets, a half dozen or so drawings for each line. The result is “Adorned Amulet, ”“Willow Amulet,” and “Past Flowering Amulet” in sepia, green and ochre inks, as well as twenty abstract drawings for the cover of slightly curving close lines in spheres and hairy waves which aim to enchant and focus us the way Laynie's work does.” - Sarah Riggs
The exhibition opening is combined with a Double Change poetry reading, which will feature Zahra Paterson and Laynie Browne reading their respective work, and Omar Berrada reading the work of Aimé Césaire (1913-2008).
Visual art for me is another language finding its articulation through marks, colors, shapes, texture, form and gesture. I come to visual art where I started, at the limits of articulation, and the need to express what words alone, even poetic fabrics of words, cannot. The reaching into ambiguity, complexity, the depth of emotion, are all present in the visual. I think of Agnes Martin saying that she tries not to have ideas, because when she does they are wrong. Sometimes my work balances literally between the visual and the verbal, with lines and forms growing out of the letters of a citation. I’ve always been interested in the in- between, and the need to make sharp delineations between forms is only helpful for me insofar as it can be made wispy and complex.
To set singularly to image what was articulated in a political, literary or journalistic medium gives it a special power—one that combines reflection, a slowing down, healing, space for others to meander for a while, let the sounds roll about, take on visual dimension. It has been exciting to rediscover the visual medium too as not coming from words, as being its own potent speech to the eyes, and the body of the eyes.
About the Artist
Sarah Riggs is an artist and poet and translator, www.sarahriggs.org. She currently has a show of abstract portraits of poets at Berl’s Poetry Bookshop in Dumbo. Her paintings and drawings have also been exhibited at the Galerie éof in Paris and the Galerie Gora in Montreal. She has published five poetry books in English and has two books forthcoming: Eavesdrop (poems and drawings, with Chax, 2019) and The Nerve Epistle (Roof Books, 2020/21) and critical essays on the visual and verbal, Word Sightings, with Routledge. Just out are her paintings in collaboration with Emily Wallis Hughes’ book of poetry, Sugar Factory, with Spuyten Duyvil, the current show at Five Myles Gallery of drawings for Laynie Browne’s Amulet Sonnets (forthcoming also as a book with Solid Objects) and translations of Etel Adnan’s Time from the French with Nightboat forthcoming May 2019.
Thursday through Sunday, 1pm to 6pm; or by appointment.
Take 2, 3, or 4 trains to Franklin Avenue. Walk two blocks against the traffic on Franklin. Walk ¾ block to 558 St. Johns Place. FiveMyles is within easy walking distance from the Brooklyn Museum.
FiveMyles is in part supported by the New York State Council for the Arts, Public Funds from the New York City Dept. of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Council Member Laurie Cumbo, the Greenwich Collection, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, Humanities NY, and the Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation.