Episode 45: Dameon Lester - Serene Disturbance

Austin Art Talk

06-10-2018 • 50 mins

"I had never been to a glacier. I had this vision of them being these giant massive things that were just there. I never really thought about how much of a living organism they are. Growing and retreating, melting, and expanding and changing. When we went on hikes on the glacier the pathway changes constantly because of the nature of the glacier and the route. With climate change these things that have been around for thousands of years are disappearing. This object I thought was a permanent structure has this really ephemeral, impermanent quality."
How would you communicate the enormity of a glacier or the complexity of global warming, with a sculpture or drawing? Would you travel to Iceland to see for yourself the scale of the issue and personally trace the many miles of ice that have been lost? Dameon Lester did just that, motivated by a desire to go beyond just looking at images on the internet. He wanted to use all of his senses and see it for himself as he crafted a body of work with the goal of communicating the issues, anxieties, denials, decisions, and inter-connectedness of us all, the planet, and the consequences of our actions related to climate change. Completing two residencies in Iceland in the last year allowed him to explore different materials and experiment in a studio, while also exploring the ephemeral landscape of that distant place. The tactic that he chose was to pare everything down to the most simple and basic forms as a way to filter all the elements under consideration into a cohesive approach. The current results of his work and travel, around the issue of climate change, is the exhibition Serene Disturbance, on display at grayDUCK gallery until October 28, 2018.
Some of the subjects we discuss: Iceland residencies Serene Disturbance The one rock Permanece/simplicity James Balog’s work Global warming Seeing first hand The uneasy tension Controlling materials Art school history Need to make art Working in the studio Parameters/focus Show title origin Intensity/anxiety Different materials Tempo public art Future plans Images of sculptures ICOSA group show/EAST Adult special education Contentment/values Letting go/Crit group Everything’s meaning grayDuck

Serene Disturbance Dameon Lester grayDUCK Gallery (https://grayduckgallery.com/hidden/serene-disturbance) Opening Reception: Saturday, September 15, 7-10pm Artist Talk: Sunday, September 30, 2pm Exhibition Dates: September 15 – October 28, 2018
https://uploads.fireside.fm/images/4/41335247-836c-4f4a-8a8b-aeca55f3227a/EXJP0UNq.jpg Photo by Colin Doyle.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian (http://stankillian.com/main/) Support this podcast. (http://www.austinarttalk.com/supportpodcast)