May: Léa Donnan, Interdisciplinary

may-2016-air-web-poster-1Interdisciplinary artist Léa Donnan joins Surel’s Place for a residency this May. Raised in France, England, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Australia to a Japanese-born Austrian mother & Australian/Irish father, Donnan’s personal, transitory experiences form the basis of her practice. Working in diverse media that includes video, installation, object making, and performance, Donnan has worked with communities and institutions across the U.S., Iceland, Canada, France and Australia.

During her residency, Donnan plans to experiment with materials installed in various landscapes within Idaho as well as in the studio. These works will explore low-tech representations of “resolution targets used by Google Earth and military surveillance to test camera range.” Her material choices are in stark contrast with her subject matter, as she works with traditional craft materials such as yarn and wood. Donnan will also work on completing a small publication representing her practice in the form of the 19th century chapbook.

A true 21st Century artist, Donnan’s exploration of various media seeks to understand human nature through migratory systems, network theory, and poetics, embracing both folk crafts (such as crocheted blankets) and state-of-the art technologies (such as Google Earth). The New York Times described her piece Hudson Applique—a series of tents constructed from wood and crocheted blankets—this way: “Donnan’s colorful settlement-like installation, ‘Hudson Applique,’ are built less around personal contact. The piece is intended to refer to the history of the Hudson River, which it overlooks from a field on Water Street, with evocations of colonization and the seasonal migration of Native Americans and their struggle for land.”

Léa Donnan has presented work at MOMA PS1, LIVE: Biennial of Performance Art, the Internationale Cité des Arts Paris and the International Symposium of Electronic Art in Albuquerque, New Mexico. During 2015 her Appliqué series was exhibited in Australia and the United States, her video Articulated Line was transmitted into outer space and she was commissioned to create work for Cosmic Love Wonder Lust, a survey exhibition of the Imperial Slacks Artist Collective at Sydney College of the Arts and Campbelltown Arts Center, where she was an artist in residence.


Thursday, May 5 | 5:00-10:00pm
at The Modern Hotel
Collaborating with local artist and Surel’s Place program Director Anna Ura, Donnan will be exhibiting at the final Modern Art.  Their installation, in room #235, will be composed of video and mixed media.

Saturday, May 14 | 1:00-3:00pm

$10.00 Materials fee | limited to 10 participants
registration required  | All ages and abilities
scholarships are available:

During this two-hour workshop, Donnan will give insight into her own practice and will work alongside participants as they make objects from found and collected materials to create traditional craft objects interpreted for world citizens of the future in the age of Google Earth. Neon divining rods, yarn satellite dishes and fictional objects that receive data and transmit beyond the physical reach of our minds and bodies!


Friday, May 27
Doors 6:30 | Art Talk 7:00pm | until 8:30pm

An opening reception featuring new work created by Donnan while in residence, including  an art talk about her work and processes.

All events are at Surel’s Place, unless otherwise noted.