Teetering

A Distant Past, 19.5×25.5 inches, Ink and oil pastel on paper, 2010. An image from Liszt transcendental etudes collection, Chasse-Neige

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart.
…live in the question.” -Rilke

Uncertainty is where we live the most fully. When we are on the edge or when the ground falls from beneath our feet, this is often when our minds engage and see the world in technicolor. For artists, this teetering constantly on the edge of things is a way of life. No more, no less. It is an exhausting and superhuman feat but also a necessary existence for those who are deeply moved by the world around them at all times. Living on the brink of the unknown is truly the path of the warrior.

Asiya Korepanova lives and works in Boston. She is an accomplished pianist as well as an artist and writer. She has an upcoming multi-media show in Sparkhill, New York where she will present 18 works in mixed media all of which are inspired by Tchaikovsky’s last piano work. The collection represents impressions, images and feelings based on the work. The Tchaikovsky work struck Korepanova, because “you can hear sadness written in a major key” she says.

Korepanova grew up with musical parents. By age 9 she was performing. Until age 10, she was home schooled. At the time this was very unusual in Russia. The method her mother used to home school was to allow Korepanova to delve into the arts. She began writing poetry at a very young age and was given free range to any and all poets. By age 6 or 7 she was writing her own poems while at the same time improvising on the piano.

As she progressed through her studies, music, poetry and eventually art began to meld. Her early exhibits happened in a spontaneous way. At a theater in Moscow, her drawings were projected as she played. From there on, this became a way for Korepanova to express her full range as a creator.

The work she is getting ready to exhibit first appeared in 2010 but in a very different form. Over the years, her feelings have changed and this has altered the work, the poems have changed and so have the techniques. For the upcoming New York show on December 9, Korepanova will present a combination of her talents.

Korepanova admits she does not think visually when she listens to music, but she does experience associations that inspire images which in turn inform her art. When searching for a work, Korepanova asserts that one knows what it is that needs expressing but it takes time for this to unfold. When she feels inspired by a piece of music, it takes time for this process to produce something visual.

To hear more about Asiya Korepanova’s evolution and process, listen to the complete interview.

Mary Chang lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Over the last two and a half years, she has been working in her own studio as opposed to working in her home. This space was made possible by Spaceworks NYC who allows artists like Chang to afford studio space.

Chang is an interdisciplinary artist working in painting, print making, theater and movement. A recent collaboration produced a play for which Chang had the opportunity to resurrect her theater work. She was also preparing for an exhibition in the Netherlands as part of a collective of 14 American artists.

In addition to this, Chang worked with an award winning poet on a short for one exhibition and with a filmmaker for another. Chang reflected upon how interpersonal relationships can sometimes lead to new work. Over the last year, Chang has entered into several large scale collaborations.

Chang demonstrates a great deal of patience as an artist. She is willing to pace herself and does not need to reap all of the rewards of her efforts at once. She has experienced an evolving career and learned to appreciate the various components of what makes her the artist she is today.

Chang has known she wanted to be an artist since she was a child. Throughout her life she has pursued this in some form or another. During a moment when she felt a bit lost as an artist, she discovered she was pregnant and found this breathed new meaning into her artistic life.

In college, Chang was not particularly focused but she always enjoyed creating. She left school and went to work. After leaving her job, she began to reflect inwardly and started to feel more anchored within her own person. Taking hold of her art once again gave her what she needed even though her footing in the world was unsure.

Mary Chang credits her husband and children, her acting coach and dear friends for her ability to sustain her life as a creator.

To hear more about Mary Chang’s life, work and collaborative pursuits, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Tread the difficult path. Embrace it in all its terrible beauty and allow it to awaken your spirit.

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Asiya Korepanova is reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Praxis user Leila has been reading books by Austin Kleon including Steal Like an Artist

Opportunities

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation is accepting applications for their On Screen / In Person program which connects independent filmmakers with communities by touring independent films. Those selected receive a travel allowance as well as stipend. Applicants must be legal U.S. residents and be willing to travel. All films submitted must be the legal property of the applicant. For complete details and eligibility, visit the website. Deadline for submissions is December 7.

Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.

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