Basilica Back Gallery Artist in Residence Series: Erika deVries
On display at Basilica Hudson February – April
ALL EVENINGS | FREE
A neon installation that calls for healing and allows space-holding for one’s self & for all by Erika deVries: “I ask you to be bold in your tenderness and caretaking of where it hurts.”
Erika deVries is a mother, artist, teacher, fairy tale reader, teller and believer based in Saugerties, New York. Her works, rendered in neon, are handwritten transcriptions dictated to her children and family members which crystallize the moments when language and meaning coalesce.
As Artist in Residence at Basilica through the NEA funded Hudson As Muse program, she has created a 12-foot tall neon artwork titled Seven Sisters forged from the current collective need for healing.
UPDATE: The piece, which reads “TAKE CARE OF THE PAIN,” was previously on display on top Basilica’s West Entrance. However, due to permit issues, we have moved the installation indoors to our North Hall. You can still view it outside, as it it is propped up in a window. Best viewed at dawn, twilight and evening hours. Please note that while the public is welcome to view the installation outside, the building itself is closed. Masks required.
Visitors are encouraged to bring a set of headphones to listen to a guided meditation from Suzanne Hill on site or after viewing the piece. Scan the QR code at the Basilica to access the online audio file, listed above.
There is also a lockbox, pens, paper and writing prompts where visitors may reflect and respond to the artwork. The notes will then be collected at the end of the residency and shared/archived.
As a part of the Hudson As Muse residency, deVries will lead a writing and self-reflection activity with Perfect Ten, an after school program for girls in Hudson.
Erika deVries’ residency will conclude with a socially distanced guided community walk down to Basilica on Earth Day, April 22 with stations along the way. Details coming soon.
“Art making for me has always been about the wonder in being human — growth, transformation, celebration, robust loving, exploring, being, listening, touching, and tending to where it hurts, I have long looked to fairy tales, folklore, magical realism and poetry to speak larger truths to being human. These stories and my childhood family wanderlust became my roots for art making as spiritual practice. As an adult seeker, my questions eventually led to deeper studies of Judaism, Buddhism, yoga, nature, and mystical thinking.
I struggle to fit the wholeness of meaning and experience into words. In the glimpses that I am able to pin down, something bright crystallizes, and these moments are the catalyst for the works in neon. To pump glass crafted words with light is alchemical and brings the pieces closer to a quality of being alive. I have grown to love neon’s delicate human-like balance — durable yet also fragile. Before the neon is turned on, it is like an absent loved one, full longing and potential promise for the light.”
Erika deVries works interdisciplinarily in photography, performance, neon, video and handcraft, in which she creates and relates embodied experiences. She is also the co-founder of Cygnets Way, an organization that provides interdisciplinary programming, lectures, classes, workshops, healing work and screenings to activate and ignite cross pollination and renew points of view.
The Hudson As Muse Basilica Back Gallery Artist In Residence Series is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
The Hudson As Muse Basilica Back Gallery Artist In Residence Series is supported, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
First two photos by Winona Barton-Ballentine