PDX Home


January 31, 2006 to February 25, 2006


New drawings

Kristen Miller's artworks are elegant observations of the components and processes of life, the passage of time. These things exist whether they are seen or unseen: fruit maturing in a paper wrapping; objects covered with snow. The materials used in the works exhibited include glassine, fruit wrappers, beads, found fabrics and berry stains.

A graduate of Cranbrook Art Academy, Kristen Miller lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

Fruit is alive. We speak about it in human terms. It has flesh and skin that bruises; therefore it is packed and transported carefully. When we buy a piece of fruit at the store, we’re unaware of the hands through which it has passed and the path that it has taken to get to its final destination. All of these events remain unseen by the consumer, a kind of invisible network of cumulative growth, action and order.

There is an elusive quality to the way season and time direct the production of fruit. When does a season begin? At what point is the fruit ready for picking? When is it too early or too late? Produce is inherently impermanent and short-lived. We wait and watch for the silent, gradual changes that form its shape and color. Then the fruit is eaten at its most beautiful, perfect state.

The fragile fruit wrappers that are used in my artwork have a life and a history. Their handled, worn surfaces are similar to skin. Printed images and text refer both to faraway places and those close to home. Beads resemble seeds or cells. They become a measurement of microscopic life, accrued labor, and the passage of time. The act of repetitive stitching represents drawing, coding, writing: a way of transcribing energy and movement into numbers, spaces and time. These materials and processes reflect the fleeting quality of our lives.

– Kristen Miller, January 2005