Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Places we find when we least expect to be impressed

Hanging Scroll - “Indian Stairs, the Rims”, Sumi & Acrylic Inks on Rice Paper, Tamrisk

Located outside of Billings, Montana. I personally have a great disdain for the Billings region, maybe it is the large population or more likely the heavy industrial presence. The fact that I found something as amazing as the Rims in such a place, felt substantial enough to interpret on a scroll (I don’t have much faith in the populace of Billings to maintain the beauty of the region). - DN


Anonymous said...

Are you being serious Daniel? "disdain" is a big word! I spent 3 weeks in Billings last June and met some simple and nice people out there. Anyway, I have prefered the heavy industrial atmosphere of Billings than the " pretencious arty show off, pseudo intellectual" of big Timber or Livingston's people. (Especialy in galleries!). But, Please tell me more about it (you scared me!), you probably know more than I do. Yes The Rims are fantastic and your "Indian Stairs" aswell!

danielnorth.com said...

I could never feel comfortable in Billings... it seemed to constantly remind me that North Dakota was, unfortunately, not too far away. The industrial presence was too much as well, I grew-up in a bit of a factory town and getting away from that environment was always at the fore-front of my mind. Now, the next time you visit, you should travel northwest of Billings into the mountains towards Lewistown, it was one of my favorite little places to just drive around and snap photos for later use in the studio.

Livingston and Big Timber have unfortunately commercialized themselves towards the celebrity mentality, I believe that may have been what you picked-up on. Its a catch-22, you need the wealth in those towns to support the galleries and the arts, but that same outside-wealth has driven away numerous life-long residents and descendents of earlier Montanan generations. Montana's Flathead Valley, as well as Jackson Hole, Wyoming have similiar problems.

I showed at a gallery in Livingston a couple times last year and liked the town (that is one windy city), but was disheartened that my work seemed to be viewed as too abstract (but to be fair my work was perceived that way across most of the state - I don't paint cowboys). Yes, I abstract-out many of the subjects in my art, but its all part of the symbolic narrative. - DN

Anonymous said...

Arr laddie as a person who grew up in the town of Billings, I am with you, North. Ah, The smell of the oil refinery in the morning always brought joy to my lungs. I used to climb on the rimrocks. It is there that I learned to use a rope, pitons, later chalks (more enviromentally friendly)and rappel down cliffs. I have cracks that will take you straight to the top that are wonderful climbing areas. Of course that was before there were houses up there, and suburbia did not encircle the airport. The Black Otter trail that comes down from the rims was almost my ending when I slid on ice and knock off a sandstone pilon instead of me,my girlfriend, and my car. Paying tribute to Thomas Edison was what we called it at the time.