I know she would also bridle if she ever overheard me trying to explain her work to someone. I’m going to talk about it here a little, but bear in mind that she would explain it differently… and I’m not sure that she would be secretly gratified at my efforts. But here goes…
The drawings, named for states, are of the lakes in each state. She did a lot of work loosely in this vein, using some pre-existing system or structure as a jumping-off point: diagrams of dance steps, patterns for folded polyhedrons, descriptions of weather, and found text were all structures she used. The lakes are among my favorite. They can work as simple formal compositions, or as maps or contemplations of geography with the titles working in contrast as a kind of one-word poem.
The photographs are views of the sky from our front window. Cheryl set up a camera on a tripod in early 2002, leaving it there for about a year. She’d take a picture every once in a while, particularly if the clouds were interesting. The resulting stack of images is a study in paying attention, in how much is happening that one normally doesn’t notice. She got a grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs to get the images printed large scale.
Money raised from the sale of a few of the pieces will go to the Illinois Campaign for Better Health Care (cbhconline.org). The CBHC is an organization advocating for universal health coverage in the state. It’s a worthy cause generally, and something Cheryl would have supported, but universal health is also something that could have made all the difference for her and others like her. It’s time that this country joins the rest of the civilized world.
In getting this show off the ground I want to thank a few people as well—in particular Todd, Marshall and Kevin at Ideotech, Marianne, Jane, and Jason and Lea at Lula.