ARTICLES

A Talk with Sue Gollifer

Veronica Lucas interviewing Sue Gollifer

You must know whom I am talking about. And, if you are not sure, then I would like to add that she is the vibrant woman walking around with brilliantly pick hair. And, as I say that, now you know.

She is the Chair of the Art Gallery, and through some time spent with her, a true understanding of her “vision” was my pleasure of hearing about. Throughout my experience in the gallery, there was this curiosity of mine: what was the inspiration for this calming “synaesthesia?”

Sue began by explaining to me that each year, there are different chairs and different jury members, thus having a different feel and outcome. Her “vision” for this year was to include “early pioneers alongside contemporary artists.” As a printmaker since the early 90’s, a true fascination and appreciation for her colleagues radiated from her. Of course by making the artwork “much about SIGGRAPH,” she wanted to keep true the integrity of each artist while creating a successful gallery experience. While each piece deserved their own space and element of time, all of them together come to make one show. She has received positive feedback in the way she chose to present all of the pieces. A curator is much like a “painter constructing a painting using the venue as a canvas.”

As for the title of the show: “Synaesthesia,” I received an interesting story as to how this topic was, somewhat accredited to her son. Synaesthesia is a condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a color. She explained, “When you look at art, it triggers things, and I wanted people to FEEL while they looked at these pieces.”

Sue emphasized the increase in the 2D works chosen. “ I am a 2D kind of person, and I feel that it allowed a platform for artists to explore their 2D works, along with animation all in the same show.” There were a record number of pieces submitted, roughly 1000. Sue was excited about the fact that this show was very international, and she wanted artists to explain their country and give explanation as to how the pieces were created. As a viewer walks through the gallery, a true sense of history is felt. By reading each excerpt submitted by the artist, they begin to “link older techniques with new.”

As Sue and I walked around the gallery, she pointed out works that were either personally interesting, or ones that helped explain her vision of linking the historical methods with the recent and innovative ones.

Roman Verostko is an example of Sue’s vision of involving the pioneers. “The finished work is drawn with ink pens mounted on the drawing arm of a pen plotter.” His work in the show includes, “Twenty-six Visions of Hildegard,” “Gaia Trptych,” and “Cyberflower # VII.” I personally, was most drawn to the blue “CyberFlower #VII.” Roman created a shape and piece that is so contemporary, but is the utmost base of the beginning. It was truly the “link.”

Hans Dehlinger is yet another important pioneer. Hans describes his artwork with the following “fascinations.” His fascinations include that of the mechanically guided pen, of the monochrome line, and the generative code. By viewing his pieces, there is an amazing sense of history. His works include, “Kreise_7.3sc,” “SD_1084-1,” “bird_facing_left,” and “ohne_Titel.”

Floyd Gillis is an artist that has three vivid black and white pieces in the show. Sue noted that his goal of capturing true black and white was difficult, because he feels that there still seems to be color. These pieces, were simple yet so very dynamic. They include, “Seri_B_A1,” “seri_A_G1,” and “seri_C_D1.”

Peter Hardie conquers 2D and animation all at the same time. His “Yellow Boat” is a computer-generated print displayed as other 2D pieces are displayed. In the very next space, his “ Sparkle Sea” is displayed on a plasma screen. Sue believes that this begins to show a direction for the future, “who knows, maybe someday, all 2D pieces will be viewed on plasma screens. It will be a plasma screen gallery.”

The “Synaesthesia,” gallery leads directly into the Emerging Technologies Exhibit, and as viewers make the gradual transition, there is a clear sense of progression. The pieces become more and more innovative from the 2D works at the beginning of the gallery to the “Swimming Machine,” in E-tech. Sue is pleased with the feeling of “calmness” she was able to achieve despite the exciting innovations. And as the week of SIGGRAPH comes to a close, countless compliments are made on behalf of Sue Gollifer and her amazing work with the “Synaesthesia” gallery. This vision was one that can never be recreated and while “ evoking the sensation of another,” it sure will never be like this one!

 

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Last updated 8/10/04.

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