Santa Fe, NM
New Mexico and New York-based artist Jill O’Bryan turns breath into a creative material with questions like how many breaths does one take in a lifetime? Does breathing change the environment we exist in? What is the residue of a single breath? As a structure, collaborator, muse, and matter, breathing is at the heart of O’Bryan’s work.
With graphite and ink, she records not only her own breathing, but she also captures the exhalation or essence of rocks in a series of large rubbings. Using the rocky mesa of her homestead outside Santa Fe, she records the intimation, physical feat and aesthetic responses of the landscape. In opposition to the flatness of the paper rubbings, O’Bryan uses plaster to create vessels molded from scars, divots, and grooves in the earth’s surface. The entire body of work is about observation, duration, impermanence, and persistent change.