Blackfish Gallery has supported artists in the Pacific Northwest for many years via a free opportunity to exhibit work in our street-side Fishbowl II window in Portland, Oregon. In response to the events of 2020, the gallery has committed to shifting the emphasis of that space to increase opportunities for artists of color in our community to be seen and heard. We welcome working with this year’s curator, Christine Miller, whose vision and voice is launching a pilot platform specifically for Black-identifying artists in the Pacific Northwest, with emphasis on artists from the Portland Metro area. This pilot, titled “Without Form and Void,” will run in Fishbowl II through May, with a new artist’s work curated into the window each month. Our hope and intention is that this will become an established program and continue after the pilot.
STATEMENT | “Without Form and Void centers around the thought of creating in darkness and detaching away from traditional Eurocentric definitions - such as evil or lack. Inspired by a sermon from Pastor Toure Roberts, the message spoke to theological creation, with the verse “let there be light” symbolizing revelation in the light and creation in darkness. Without Form and Void focuses on the importance of darkness as time and space to create from an inner place. This theme is also inspired by Legacy Russel’s Glitch feminism as it applies to the concept of looking at non binary gender as going back to abstraction, reexamining the definition of the word body.
My curatorship is in support of the Absence of Light documentary on HBO which features some of the most monumental Black contemporary artists speaking of their resilience to keep creating without recognition and praise from prominent art spaces and critics. Thus this call is specially for all Black artists in the Oregon, Washington & Idaho areas. As Black creatives living in the Pacific North West, Portland specifically is a space that not only excluded us in legislation but was not created prioritizing Black life, Black lenses or Black creativity. These exhibitions address what was created during the time of darkness and give commentary of this new season of attention."
We're excited to welcome Christine Miller as the first curator for this program. Christine Miller is a conceptual artist and curator currently based in Portland, OR. Her work centers around racial imagery, products and histories while simultaneously reframing her own cultural identity. In addition to her own work, Christine’s curatorial practice centers on bringing underrepresented contemporary artists to the front of the Portland art community and beyond.
d.a carter kicks off “Without Form and Void” with his work ‘black want.” Derrais Carter is a teacher, writer and artist from Kansas City, Kansas. Sometimes he makes work oriented around the aesthetics of Black life. Featured in Fishbowl II from Thursday, September 2 – Saturday, October 2, 2021.
Tieara Myers is an African-American abstract artist living in Portland, OR - making art for over 20 years in various mediums and styles. Currently working primarily with acrylics melding empty spaces with impactful symbols and lines. Circles are dominant symbols in her artwork.
This theme was sparked after a death in my family. I began to explore the journey of forgiveness in all its imperfections in their life and afterward in my own. Since then, this theme has only expanded and grown in depth and viscerality.
I am inspired by the abstract, the magical, the surreal, the spiritual. I have a passion for artists like Hilda of Klint, Frida Kahlo, Agnes Pelton, Remedios Varo, and Bisa Butler.
I believe that forgiveness is something everyone can have for themselves and others. Life isn’t perfect, and neither are our individual journeys. I believe there is a simplicity and beauty to accepting, admiring, and seeing the imperfection of life. There is beauty in forgiveness. I communicate these themes and my vision of life through my art. I create art that sparks a reaction in people, bringing them closer, and engaging them in their own sense of feelings, emotions, and memories.
IG/Social Media Handle: @ tiearamyersart