This week Viz Vity went on the road to the Coos Art Museum in Coos Bay, which has a large juried exhibition open right now called Expressions West 2017. The work of Bandon artist Victoria Tierney was chosen as the Grand Prize blue ribbon winner:
In an interview with Sandy Brown Jensen, Victoria Tierney narrated the story behind her large, prize-winning entry called "Mother Japan," "The piece that I entered is a piece that’s really dear to me; it’s called “Mother Japan.” And I actually began this piece when I was visiting my granddaughter Angelica in Japan where she was teaching English."
Victoria and her granddaughter, who spoke Japanese, traveled all over Japan, returning to their home base on a small island that Victoria said was a lot like Bandon, only in Japan.
She slept on the floor in a futon and woke up each day to a view out over the bay, and it was there, sitting on the floor, that she began her first sketches for what was to become “Mother Japan.”
As she tells it, the inspiration for this multi-media art work came after a long tour of Japan. "And we had just come back from seeing Japan, and one night I just started sketching. And this woman appeared, and she was holding four little baby volcanoes and her forests, which were studded with beautiful trees, appeared, and snow because we had actually just run into snow in the mountains, and all of this just sort of came through, and I knew as I was doing that sketch that this was 'Mother Japan.'"
Victoria was able to work on “Mother Japan” at an art retreat. As other artists became aware of her project, they began gifting her with beautiful hand-made Japanese papers. That led her to new decisions about the art she was working on, "I had decided I didn’t want to matte and frame these sketches of Japan--that’s not Japanese…. What I wanted to do was make a Japanese scroll…I took the papers and I very very carefully cut out that sort of river of flow that is coming out of the head of Mother Japan and then I found some other paper with the Oriental lettering, and I’m still waiting for someone to come in the Museum and say, “That says, ‘This is used car lot’ or something.’” Victoria laughed.
Expressions West 2017 will be showing until July 1, so you still have time make a road trip to the Coos Art Museum and make your bow to Victoria Tierney’s nearly life-sized image of “Mother Japan.”
Viz City is co-produced by Sandy Brown Jensen and Terry Way.