exhibits: Ghost Net Landscape: Across Oceans
April 5 - May 15, 2022 exhibit at Ellyn Bye Studio lobby, Portland Center Stage, Oregon
Hosted by Artists Repertory Theatre
In conjunction with their production of "The Children,"
a timely and tantalizing look at the cost of climate change
and what, if anything, one generation owes the next.
Exhibit open free to the public: Tues-Sun, 12-6pm
Ticketholders for "The Children" can also experience
the exhibit during box office hours, before and after
"Across Oceans" is the fourth major installation of Ghost Net Landscape. Presented in conjunction with a theatrical performance, in the lobby outside the theatre, "Across Oceans" is my most personal exhibition of Ghost Net Landscape yet. The installation is presented geographically, with raw materials and written fragments of my family's history organized across oceans: linking China, Hawaii, and Oregon in the Pacific, with Maine, England, and Ireland in the Atlantic.
- APRIL 15: Tickets required. Join me for opening night of "The Children" at 7:30pm. Ticketholders can view the exhibit before and after the performance.
- APRIL 21: Free event. Happy (early) Earth Day! I'll be stitching baskets in the exhibit from 1-4pm. Come by, share your stories, create something new.
- MAY 8: Tickets required. Join me for "The Children" Community Conversation: May 8. Performance at 2pm, conversation at 3:30pm. Contact me for discount tickets on May 8!
- MAY 16: Free event. Materials pickup day! Starting at 10am sharp, visit the exhibit and take home as much free raw material as you like. My goal is to distribute all the material in the exhibit!
What connections do you hold close, across oceans?
I invite you to share your sea stories, journeys, and histories, to add to our shared ties. What does the ocean mean to you? To your family? Are your strongest bonds here on your local coastline, or an ocean's breath away?
- In Person: Visitors are invited to share their own histories, memories, and connections to the ocean in writing displayed in the exhibition. Please review Portland Center Stage "Plan Your Visit Guidelines" if you intend to visit in person!
- Virtual: Call in to the Ghost Net Landscape voicemail at 971-232-1362 to share your story! Each recording can be up to 3 minutes long, and you're welcome to call back to finish a longer story. Recordings will be available as part of the exhibit, online and in-person.
Thank you for your voice.
Artist Statement: Across Oceans
Distant shores are just a few breaths away in the vast cycles of ocean currents and gyres. In island cultures, we are joined across oceans, where the flat horizon of the sea points us to our loved ones. Collecting this material from the Pacific to the Atlantic, each weathered strand shares the history of its voyage over vast distances, reminding us of how closely tied we all are. Each story is another thread connecting us to the sea, a visual reminder of resilience and rebuilding. There is no waste in the natural world, only transformation.
My relationship with this material began on the Atlantic coast with a beachcomber’s joy. At my grandparents’ home on Deer Isle Maine, potwarp from the lobster industry first called to me with its colorful tangle of potential. I found those colors echoed in bits of ghost net I gathered from the Irish coastline, where another branch of family makes their home.
More threads connect my family’s home on Kauai, where many tons of ghost net wash up from across the Pacific rim, driven there by strong ocean currents. Sorting this fishing debris, I think of my Hakka Chinese family who traveled here on those same currents. Here in Oregon, we find tsunami debris from Japan mixed in with local crab line: material I recognize from Deer Isle, but with colors all its own.
As I grieve the recent loss of my grandparents in Maine, working with this material strengthens my ties across oceans, to loved ones passed and present, from Hawaii to Deer Isle and beyond.
© 2023 Emily Jung Miller fine art - Ocean-inspired artwork from Oregon & Kauai.