Selected works from RELAY–DELAY Series, 2021–2022, 4K digital video stills by Sherry Erskine and Bonnie Sue Stein (IGUANA Collaborative)
Quarantine of 2020 created a sense of liminality as we existed between a time of survival and an uncertain tomorrow. People and the environment suffered many tangible losses. It was a dark time of the imagination, requiring a greater understanding of our limitations and grief. The pandemic also created a heightened need to hope and imagine a better future. Hence in January 2021, we set to nature to explore interconnectedness and dream. Living and working in isolation 800 miles apart, our collaboration existed solely in an intermediary digital 3rd space called Zoom for nearly 2 years. Through performative acts of ‘active imagination’ we began recording, sharing and responding to each other’s videos and soundtracks on Dropbox in a relay pen-pal structure. Wrapped in fabric, our body forms become a canvas for musing during a dark winter, hopeful spring, fleeting summer and cathartic fall. Our completed series (2022) of 14 videos uncovered emotions ranging from feelings of oneness with the earth and its life forces, to the anxiety and sorrow one feels when witnessing destruction. These video stills/photographs represent re-union with ourselves, the environment and each other. In conclusion, we invite viewers to find beauty, healing and unity in nature and to be responsible stewards of the earth which sustains all life.
IGUANA Collaborative was founded by artists from Michigan in 1976, Sherry Erskine (Fulbright Alumni), John K Erskine and Bonnie Sue Stein. IGUANA creates hybrid [analog/digital] interdisciplinary works utilizing lens-based media, performance, installation and sound art. By creating multi-layered installations, Erskine + Stein aim to actively engage their audience in viewing photography and video. YouTube Playlist: https://bit.ly/3DOjfEJ