KALA@HIPFiSHmonthly – Call of the Wild • Anne Greenwood & Renia Ydstie

IN CELEBRATION of creative work in fiber and textiles, HIPFiSHmonthly is sponsoring two mixed media artists to participate in the Astoria Second Saturday Artwalk. This inaugural event for Astoria’s newest artspace takes place on Saturday, July 9 from 5 – 9pm in the new gallery space/Hipfish production office, KALA, at 1017 Marine Drive in Astoria.

KALA @Hipfishmonthly collaborates with Northcoast arts curator/painter/multimedia artist Rebecca Rubens. Rubens is a regional native and longtime contributor to the arts movement on the coast. She was an original founder of Astoria Visual Arts twenty years ago, and has worked with many artists and arts projects as the fertility of cultural arts continues its growth on the coast.

The ground floor space at the hipfish production office will program visual arts, performance and lecture, as a flexible space.  CALL OF THE WILD is its inaugural event. Serendipitously, the space whose name bares the Finnish word for “fish” (pronounced with a glottal stop “K”), is also the Sanskrit term for “goddess of the cultural arts.” The exhibit space will be open for viewing Fri – Sun, 12noon to 5pm, and by appt.

Call of the Wild features the work of artists Anne Greenwood and Renia Ydstie. The work of the two artists will complement each other and show off HIPFISH monthly’s new digs.

Greenwood sleep
Portland artist Anne Greenwood debuts A Kind of Blue, Sleep, I’ve Got U (an animalistic figure suspended in a net from the gallery ceiling) at KALA.

Portland mixed media artist, Anne Greenwood ( works with textiles and printmaking to create a physical linkage or record that connects ideas to human experience.  Greenwood worked in Scotland, studied at the University of Oregon and received a BA from Moorehead State University, MN. Her creations are influenced by her experiences working with visual art, horticulture, and history. Her artistic process is influenced by collaboration and community-based projects and in her work, she uses pattern to explore the the tight technical precision of workmanship and the relative looseness of freeworkmanship.

Of the two pieces created for Call of the Wild, Greenwood states: “I am a mixed media artist interested in culture and folk art. This exhibit is about textiles, sleep, a trip to Argentina, the feeling of old quilts and their beautifully colored fabrics, bandana handkerchiefs, rest, the ocean, the wind, and fresh air. My materials are mostly all castoffs: scrap wood, ice cream spoons and bottle tops my family collected in Argentina, muslin curtains, and shredded documents.”

Greenwood quilt
Portland artist Anne Greenwood debuts Dresden Plate Quilt at KALA.

Greenwood’s Dresden Plate Quilt is created from rift-sawn white oak plywood, silkscreen, and found objects. She says: “I want to make quilts, not of fabric but form wooden or other found, leftover things. I think old quilts are cultural artifacts that tell about the person or community that made them. I like the quilts that were made of old clothes, feed-sacks, or fabrics that used to be something else. The fabric has been so many places. It has gone on trips or come from other lands. Old, used fabrics have a life of their own and their energy is full of life. People slept under these quilts, they held dreams and picnics, and overheard many tales. The Dresden Plate quilt pattern was one of the most popular quilts made during the 1920s and 30s. The popular name for this quilt, Dresden Plate, reflects the romance of the Victorian Era with its love of elaborate decoration on household items and décor. Dresden, Germany was a center of 19th century romanticism movement in art, one that included the fine decoration of porcelain. The plates were embellished with elaborate design using flowers, fruits and foliage. The beautiful plates would surely have been admired by women of the early 20th century.”

Greenwood’s second piece is entitled: A Kind of Blue, Sleep, I’ve Got U. Constructed from cotton thread, indigo-dyed muslin shredded documents A Kind of Blue consists of an animalistic figure suspended in a net from the gallery ceiling.  Greenwood says, “Muslin, the color of indigo, and an animal-person caught in the air in a net is a sensation, premonition, gut feeling, or instinct. This figure describes the feeling.” Is the net a sieving? A trap? An embrace? Is the figure a memory, a person, a dream?

Local artist, musician and teacher Renia Ydstie was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and moved to Astoria with her family at age 5. She earned a degree in International Education from the University of Oregon. She then went on to teach English in Costa Rica, France, and Spain. She is an accomplished accordionist and was a member of Action Panther, a Portland-based Alternative/Indie band. Recently, she moved back to Astoria and has worked for her alma mater, Astoria High School.
In Call of the Wild, Ydstie will present installation work that relates to the natural environment, using found material and paper. These works are intended to be interactive. Viewers are invited to touch, manipulate, enter, and even contribute to Ydstie’s art in this exhibit.

Renia bird
A Renia Ydstie bird, from her flock, that will accompany a human-size bird nest entitled Birds and Nest.

Of her work in Call of the Wild Ydstie says: “Birds and a Nest is an interactive sculpture installation of a movable flock of birds and a human-sized nest. It is constructed with materials that can be found in the immediate environment and is installed in a gallery setting in the hope that other people will enjoy it, play with it, and add to it through their participation.

The Birds were made after watching an enormous flock that was living over by Burger King this winter. Movement of individuals in a system is what interested [me] most. However, coming up with a paper and string mechanism to replicate flock dynamics ended messily, so a simplified option was adopted.

Each bird is built around a blown (local, thank you Co-op) chicken eggshell. The body is sculpted with papier-mache feathers cut from a romance novel, newspapers, tickets and linen, then finished with beeswax. Birds are hung in mated pairs so that when one bird is pulled, another moves.  Participants may move birds as they wish, thus constantly changing the shape of the flock. More participants = more flock movement.

The Nest is based on many forms of enclosed woven bird nests but is built to human proportions with local materials woven together with hands, not beaks and tiny feet. Participants may climb inside the nest and are also encouraged to add to it. Nesting materials are provided and children are absolutely invited. More participants = more interesting nest.

For me, the big payoff in a project like this is the satisfaction that comes from manipulating basic materials (like making a blanket fort when you are a kid), and the ideas that are generated when interacting with a set of ideas in a new way (as when you travel). All are invited to participate.”