7.31.2015

ERIN CURRIER & TONY HASSETT - AT HOME


VIBRANT is the perfect word to describe this dynamic couple who travel the world to gather inspiration for their art.  They are  chroniclers of human struggle, both tangible and philosophical.






E R I N   C U R R I E R

Erin creates large canvases filled with images of street workers, prostitutes, unsung heroes, activists - all struggling to maintain their pride and individual voices. And, re-cycled trash/ephemera - collected on her world travels - is an integral part of each canvas, speaking volumes to what society discards and de-values.


 





Q. Your new  paintings are called the ORCHARD KEEPERS; what is the story behind this new work?

The Orchard Keepers celebrate sentinels of traditions and values outside of the industrialized status quo: a martial arts master from China, Indian gurus, a Balinese shaman, a Mexican mystic and healer, among others. 

The new series also portrays those quite literally engaged in tending and keeping orchards and crops: a coalition of migrant tomato workers in Florida, for example. All of the subjects sustain and feed themselves and/or heal themselves by utilizing agricultural techniques, herbal remedies, etc., handed down through generations-- often at their own peril: as empire inevitably views autonomy as a direct threat to both profit and control.

The unifying thread that runs through all of the portraits in The Orchard Keepers series is the tendency of the subjects to regard the spiritual realm and the natural world as fully integrated, and as part of a sacred lineage worth upholding.









Preliminary drawings are done on re-cycled paper.


Q. You and Tony travel extensively. How vital is this for you creatively?

Travel in general is crucial to my Art and to my spirit; it reconfirms again and again what I know to be true: that we as human beings share far more in the way of commonalities than we have differences; that most divisions are imposed on us all from above; and that most people-- despite what the mass media would have us believe-- be they Shia Musllim, Hindu, Roman Catholic,Tewa, Dayak, Buddhist, Uighur, Sufi, Yoruba, or what-have-you, are decent, even goodhearted, human beings.




When Erin travels she keeps charming. hand-written/drawn journals that inform her next series of paintings. She's been doing this for years and if your lucky enough to see her collection of journals, you're in for a visual treat.



Q. Where have your travels taken you and Tony?

I have traveled to nearly fifty countries now with Anthony-- returning to a few on numerous occasions. With him, I found myself dining on dirt floors of the kitchens of Tibetan exiles and at the dinner tables of Oscar winning Italian filmmakers; we've lived in apartments in Rio, Berlin, and Buenos Aires, in 11th century farmhouses in Italy and France, in drafty old houses overlooking the sea on an island off the coast of Panama, and in Kathmandu Valley.

We have careened along Andean and Himalayan cliffs in rickety buses; was denied entrance to Syria and Iran, but visited Egypt just weeks after their January 2011 revolution began-- where we stood with one million Egyptians in Tahrir Square; visited the birthplace of the Buddha, the writing desks of Neruda and Dante, the graves of Allende, Bolivar, Che Guevara, Kafka, and Carlos Gardel; with Anthony I have taken part in protests, and exhibited art, on three continents.






Q. What do you like about traveling with Tony?


What I have loved most about traveling with Tony throughout all of the above adventures and more, is his ability to make people laugh in any country.  His physical comedy transcends the boundaries of language, age, race, religion; his rare and brave sense of humor is a gift that has opened doors and sparked friendships the world over.


Q. Tell me about your recent trip...where you went...and why this is important for your soul and your art.

New Year's 2014 found us amidst a four month journey across Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Borneo; at the end of 2014, we returned to that corner of the world-- this time to Thailand and Bali.

Travel in general is crucial to my Art and to my spirit; it reconfirms again and again what I know to be true: that we as human beings share far more in the way of commonalities than we have differences; that most divisions are imposed on us all from above; and that most people-- despite what the mass media would have us believe-- be they Shia Musllim, Hindu, Roman Catholic,Tewa, Dayak, Buddhist, Uighur, Sufi, Yoruba, or what-have-you, are decent, even goodhearted, human beings.
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T O N Y   H A S S E T T


Tony is a published poet and social justice writer/artist.  His mixed-media drawings are diminutive in size compared to Erin's
 large canvasses, but their message and impact are felt just 
as intensely. He fashions them into accordion books that
 are  colored and  glazed.


"The accordion-style pages of Anthony Hassett's travel albums are hand-drawn, colored and glazed works of art - at once visual poems and illustrated critiques: letters of love and condemnation culled from a constant abysmal penitence. Hassett has traveled, lived, written and drawn his poems and images in forty countries, occasionally stopping to exhibit his books in cities like Berlin, Buenos Aires and New York. Hassett's life has been an unceasing and courageous half-century of philosophical inquiry, civil disobedience defiance of existing socio-political structures, flagrant rebellion and pursuit of the real." 

Excerpt from Amazon.com


Q.  Tell me about your first poem and do you illustrate your poems?

I wrote my first poem when I was seven years old, influenced directly by the poetry of Langston Hughes. As for my own work; no, I don't generally illustrate my own poetry. Recently, however, in a fit of lunacy, I did in fact illustrate a poem I wrote about scoring heroin in the East Village back in the Seventies. But I'm not sure it's something I'd do again.



Q. Do you keep a journal when you travel?

I do keep a journal, mostly of poems and impressions. This last trip to Bali was particularly inspiring, generating a half dozen little books full of bad poetry and nasty pictures.



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Q.  What do you like best about traveling with Erin?

Erin and I have traveled together for twenty years and we only argued once, in Caracas, and I think it was over a pizza. She's the best companion in the galaxy - full of intelligence, generosity, and utterly good natured. We've seen other traveling couples have full psychotic breakdowns. There's nothing like traveling to test the bonds of affection.





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CHARMING DETAILS OF THEIR HOME



Eight month old NOCHE - King of the Roost!


Front door...






Even the dog dishes are vintage...



Their passion... books!






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The Orchard Keepers

ERIN'S Solo Exhibition

September 3th- September 19th 2015

Artist Reception Thursday September 3rd 5-7 pm

BLUE RAIN GALLERY

130 Lincoln Avenue, Suite C
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

(505) 954-9902 


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