An Interview with Maggie Nowinski
A fantastic facet of Project Elements Easthampton: Earth was that I had the great fortune of meeting some extraordinary artists that I had no idea were creating in my neighborhood. There is undoubtedly a strong contingency of innovative artists who are working in Easthampton, if not in the surrounding Pioneer Valley. They get a little lost in the mazes of the mills and the hills but they are here, working. When I met artist Maggie Nowinski a year or so ago she told me as I was leaving her studio that she was pleased to think of me working hard in my studio just across the pond as she worked in hers. I think that sentiment rings throughout these studios that we toil in.

Nowinski has been toiling away indeed. After completing Project Intersect, a three-part collaborative video projection project on Easthampton buildings, she has added plastic to her list of mediums. After piecing together thousands of empty water bottles then exploring the ubiquitous plastic bottle through video, drawing, and performance, she is due for an exhibition at the Hampden Gallery at UMass, Amherst on January 21 – February 23, 2010.

I had a chance to talk to her before that though and get an inside glance at her process and thoughts.

Your upcoming show at Hampden Gallery is called Swallowed-suggesting both the consumption of liquid and the consumption of unnecessary goods. Tell me more about that title.

Swallowed has a lot of connotations. The first, you mention, consumption of liquid and next the consumption of the commodity object/concept, which of course bottled water so blatantly signifies. The process of swallowing bottled water is extremely problematic and loaded – and it was something I thought about a lot when I drank bottled water.


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