Philadelphia artist Nora Chase gifted to the 4th anniversary of FRIEDA in 2019 "The Light-Years", an art installation created specifically for the space.
  • "Years ago, I sat in a garden beneath a Japanese Snowbell tree - its horizontal branches dripping in tiny white bell-shaped flowers and felt like I was surrounded by the Milky Way"

Nora Chase 

The Light Years

11/22/19 - 1/26/20

I keep revisiting Charles and Ray Eames’ The Powers of Ten, a film I first saw in elementary school. The farther things move apart, the more they become the same. Years ago, I sat in a garden beneath a Japanese Snowbell tree – its horizontal branches dripping in tiny white bell-shaped flowers and felt like I was surrounded by the Milky Way. We build maps according to the grid; a system that is uncompromised in integrity, until it is broken. When you magnify a piece of tarlatan, you see its imperfections. The warp and weft stretched to form an undulating network of misshapen boxes. There is comfort and familiarity in repetition, progress in building something from the same module. History revealed as layers are eroded away. A single square of cut paper or a bell-shaped blossom are insignificant in isolation, but achieve meaning in their recurrence.
Photo: Nora Chase.
Nora Chase
"Casement #3". 2019
Cut paper and gesso on panel
52.5” x 47.5”
Nora Chase
"Casement #3 + #4". 2019
Cut paper and gesso on panel 52.5” x 47.5”

Nora Chase
"Styrax + Open Weave". 2019
Mixed media on paper
10.75” x 9.5”

The site-specific installation is an exercise in the strength and collaboration across generations that is at the core of FRIEDA’s mission. Each piece of cloth and paper was cut by hand. The 1000 blossoms were sewn individually by my mother, who, as she scaled back hours at work, indicated her desire to collaborate on a project. My father and I have a history of creative projects and solving problems along the way: advent calendars, painting substrates, models, and dioramas. The engineering of this installation is no different, though on a considerably larger scale. Historically I work alone, but this project would not have been realized without assistance, for which, I am so very grateful. — Nora.
"The Light-Years" (November 22, 2019 - January 26, 2020)
Bio:
Nora Chase is a visual artist who makes paintings, drawings, and constructions. She lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.
Her work focuses on the emotive capacity of material and process explored within the breadth of human scale, sensation, and the built environment. Varied viewing proximity allows surface to function as both indicator and façade as it collapses and extrudes to the point where plasticity and method are ambiguous. The works employ the sublime and the grotesque as a device to seduce and repel by creating densely layered subtle surfaces that are injected with small acts of violence, which elicit multivalent interpretations. These readings draw on abstract personal narratives – broad and systemic in nature and appearance, but ultimately rooted in emotion and the experiential. Nora earned a BFA from Cornell University where she was a recipient of the David R. Bean Prize to study abroad in Rome and the inaugural Post-baccalaureate Exhibition Award. Her work has been exhibited nationally.

Simple book and box making workshop (December 10, 2019).
For more information about Nora check her website.

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