• Henry Martin

Virginia Dwan

Updated: May 6

A thought on Virginia Dwan and art.

Photo Credit: Louis Vest, Dwan Light Sanctuary 1, United World College in Montezuma, New Mexico, 2011.


The following is an excerpt from a lecture by art dealer #VirginiaDwan, given in 2003 at the Santa Fe Art Institute. It is taken from the book #Earthworks (2003). I have included it here because I identify with the concepts within: #art as a journey; art as a release to the hold of daily existence; the idea of subjectivity perfectly represented here by the "long and faulty telescope"; and lastly for the overall sense of time that Dwan evokes, the journey, movement, voyage, past, memories, and so forth. The act of remembering is both a conscious and unconscious one. There are the things we choose to remember and then there are other experiences that act on us in ways not easily known to us. In a nutshell, what Dwan describes resonates with me as a good definition of art as experience, as memory, and, even, identity.


"My journey has been threefold. Firstly, I have moved through real space to release the hold of my daily existence and to experience something closer to "real time" in which movement is a commitment of a segment of my life. Secondly I have had the mental voyage, with its fogs and clearings, into my own past. I have gone back to thirty and more years ago and visited these sites as they look to me now through a long and faulty telescope. I have attempted to stick to the sequence as it occurred and to follow the itinerary of my memories. Additionally, there has been a journey into myself, catalyzed by both the actual voyages and "discoveries" there, but also by the act of remembering and of noticing what has affected and remained with me the most."
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© 2020 Henry Martin.