“Outside and inside are both intimate -- they are always ready to be reversed … If there exists a border-line surface between such an inside and outside, this surface is painful on both sides”
-Gaston Bachelard, “The Poetics of Space”
Our lives consist of internal and external landscapes. My work examines the ways in which these landscapes intersect and are altered by such intersections. Paper becomes the “border-line surface,” the membrane that divides and connects what is inside us and what is outside.
Landscape consists not only of the physical realities of our surroundings, but of our relationship to those realities. In observing, we project ourselves onto and into the landscape. Individual landscapes, however, also dictate how we observe them. The landscape is inside us as much as we are inside it.
My recent work engages the reciprocal relationship between inner and outer space, between people and our environments, in the landscapes of the Western and Midwestern United States. Controlled Burn and Fire Maps explore this relationship through the lens of ﬁre — the imprints left by wildﬁre, on the part of the landscape, and prescribed burns, on the part of people. Emigrant Lake[s] addresses drought’s effects on the Western landscape and its population. Lagoons and Fringe Landscapes emerge from the beauties and horrors of modern agriculture.
Across these bodies of work, the tent form is emblematic of the tenuous nature of our relationship to our surroundings, an object that allows us to connect with the landscape, to spend time in it, by separating and protecting us from it.
Summer Ventis’s work uses the printed surface to address internal and external landscapes and their intersections; the imprints we leave on each other and our surroundings and the imprints that our surroundings leave on us. She received a BA in Art from Grinnell College and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Colorado Boulder. Her work has appeared in national and international group exhibitions, including “The Contemporary Print 2017” at Flatbed Press in Austin, TX, “Collision and Equilibrium” at the Liu Haisu Art Museum in Shanghai, China, and “Global Print 2017” in Douro, Portugal; and is held by collections, including those of the Denver Art Museum and Proyecto ’ace in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Recent solo exhibitions include “Emigrant Lake[s]” at the Oregon Governor’s Office and “I looked up at the sky and saw what I had put into the ground” at the University of Iowa’s Drewelowe Gallery. She is Assistant Professor of Printmaking at California State University Sacramento.
Summer has been an Artnaut since 2018.