Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Journey to the Inside.... a 'road trip' through the art of Yona C. Riel

    Since posting my road trip in April and my 2 week excursion to San Fransisco in June, it is now time to do a different kind of trip.  Instead of talking about everybody else's art I am going to talk about my own, in preparation for my first solo show in a long time on the 27th of August at 'The Voyeur' a new gallery located on Blair between 5th and 6th.
    Going through my art of the last few decades has been like reading a visual autobiography.  Despite my diminished brain capacity I remember precisely what I was thinking/feeling while making most of it and the messages lay there on their substrates whispering secrets to me.  Perhaps this is because the art has not had a chance to 'speak' to anyone else (being locked in a closet for the last few years while I have been recovering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI)).   Hopefully the show will change all that and the art will morph into it's next life.     
   My intent for this 'journey to the inside' is to post not only pictures of the work in the upcoming show but what was going on for me when I made it.  Also I will attempt to make it linear dividing the art into pre-TBI and post-TBI because it seems to make sense that way.  I want to review one piece a day unless I run out of time, in which case you'll just have to come to the show.
   The first piece was made from a red electrical box found in the debris of a burnt house in Glenwood, Oregon.  I was there with a friend who, like myself, was attracted to the remnants after a fire.  
   Much of my work is untitled as is this piece.  (perhaps my readers will suggest one to me in the comments).   There is a broken bridge (the golden gate) in the lower right hand corner and footsteps walking away from the break.  Two entities are exchanging energy, one named e-yo and one with the word 'spirit' on her forehead.  The inside of the box has been fitted with cedar inserts painted a lime green.  For the outside of the box I sanded out most of the red and painted it black.  Then I went back in with stamps and covered the surface with white and red letters and question marks.
   In the upper left hand corner there is a scribble of confusion.  The singular spring (cut from the box spring of a couch found in the debris) serves to warp the three lines of communication between the two entities further by spiraling through them.
   At the time I made the piece I was feeling distant from myself.  So much so that I really couldn't even hear what the spirit part of me had to say.  This is the first of several pieces made during the months leading up to my injury that represent (for me) the beginning of my confused state.  I think this piece was completed about 8 months prior to 'the TBI event'.  It measures approximately 5" deep by 10" wide and 12" tall.  If you want to see it 'live' come to my show at The Voyeur on Blair St. the last Friday in August.  If you want to help me name it leave a comment here on the blog.  Thanks for reading.  Yona C. Riel


  1. I love it, Yona. What caused your TBI?

  2. a sinus infection... i thought you knew this story?? thanks for reading...xo