USM Art Galleries Gorham and Portland

2004 — Gorham Attic drawing installation, Jamie Snyder


Gorham Attic drawing installation
Jamie Snyder
University of Southern Maine
Academy building attic,
USM Gorham Campus

Jamie Snyder (2004)

The Gorham Attic of the Academy building on the Gorham Campus of University of Southern Maine was transformed into a work of art while Jamie Snyder was  visiting artist in residence at USM in 2004.

Several thousand small bits of paper were attached to the interior walls of the Academy Building's attic. Following a symetrical pattern based on six spokes radiating from a central point, the pattern crept along the surface of the wood, along joints and beams, respecting the natural breaks created by the strong geometry of the wooden peg construction.

Each unit was cut from simple white paper (readily available Bristol board) and marked with striations using a conventional black pen. Each part, measuring about an inch wide by about three or four inches long, was tacked to the wood.

The next stage was the lighting. Ultraviolet lights were mounted. Incandescent bulbs, four in all, were hung at regular intervals in the space. A dimmer was wired to allow the viewers to transform the space from the warm lattice-bound nest to veiled evening garden by controlling the balance of the UV and incandescent light.

WIth the exception of the lights added to the space, the attic was not altered in any way during the installation process. As the attic and the pieces of paper became entwined, neither subordinate to the other. The pattern became more than the sum of its parts: a simply balanced relationship, but still unsparingly delightful whenever it manages to occur.