Forward, 2017–20: a project by Shaun Kardinal

"One visual artist and twelve writers present a physical transformation of words, where geometric forms reshape vibrant landscape postcards, each containing letters, hand-written with intention. When the exhibition ends, these sculptures will be given to a new set of artists who will alter the work for a show next year." Writers include Amanda Manitach, Anastacia Renee’, Chelsea Werner-Jatzke, Colleen Louise Barry, Kamari Bright, Kat Humphrey, Kim Selling, Leena Joshi, Meghan McClain, Sara Long, Tara Atkinson  and Tessa Hulls. 

Photos courtesy of Shaun Kardinal.

Project statement: In May, these writers were each given a stack of 36 postcards and asked to imbue them with written intention, inaugurating the twelve evolving artworks. In the next two weeks, project director Shaun Kardinal will transform the postcards into two- and three-dimensional sculptures with their words literally lining the walls of each piece. 

This process sets Forward in motion. Each of the works presented in this exhibition will be passed on to a new artist who will spend one year with the piece. While in their possession, they are charged with transforming it. They may alter, activate, destroy, or refine the piece in any way, so long as some physical or aesthetic element of what they’ve received remains.

Next Summer, all twelve revised works will be exhibited together again. Then, the work will be handed off to artists invited by the last—and repeat the process.

Forward is a continuation of Turn, which connected twelve artists who transformed and exhibited a single object every month for a year. As it evolved, they were asked to think of every iteration as a single piece, to consider when it was theirs—and if ever it was not. Forward reiterates this ethos, promoting an awareness of the present in a continued examination of impermanence, empathy, and the ceding of ego.

Shaun Kardinal has been engaged in Seattle’s arts community since 2006, and in that time has accrued experience in many of its avenues—exhibition and curation, development and design, creation and collection. In an effort to bridge gaps between artists and communities, the artist’s creative pursuits incorporate that accrued experience to create alternatives to the usual work-for-sale exhibition cycle.