Some people doodle or bite their nails. Daniella Woolf folds paper into boats. Netflix envelopes, old tax documents, crinkled seafaring maps—if you leave it lying around her, chances are, it will end up being folded into a boat.
"Anything is fair game with this form," said Woolf, whose latest work, "The Boats Series," consists of hundreds of paper boats, folded from recycled materials in the origami "sampan" fold, a graceful boat shape, flat on the bottom, and pointed on both ends.
The inspiration was born in a fancy tea shop in South Korea, where Woolf says she stopped in her tracks when she saw an entire wall covered in white paper bags with the open end facing out: "a luminous grid of open boxes," she called it. This was in September of 2010.
The artist then crossed paths with Jennifer Ewing's boats at the De Young Museum in San Francisco and shortly after, the wall in her studio was becoming a luminous grid of boats. Same fold, but no two boats are alike.
"From miniscule to mighty, it doesn't matter how long the paper is, that's just how long the boat is, so I’m not restraining myself by size," Woolf said.
Woolf, also a gives classes in encaustics at a studio in Corralitos called Wax Works West.
"My question is always, 'Does wax make it better?' Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't," said Woolf of the beeswax and damar resin mixture that she turns into art. When applied to paper, it becomes more translucent, and some of the boats glow as the sun hits them.
You can find Woolf's “Boat Series,” and her "True Grid Series," mosaic-like works in encaustics, at Santa Cruz County Bank's current exhibit "Repeat!" which features six artists and spans all five branches with 140 pieces—the largest show the bank has had, according to Mary Anne Carson, senior vice president at the bank and art enthusiast.
"Our curator, Joan Blackmer, and I visited Daniella Woolf’s art studio to see her new boat series. At first it seemed obvious that we could build a nautical show centered on boating and navigation, yet next to the repeated series of colorful origami boats was a beautiful series of encaustic works with repeated geometric squares that also intrigued us," Carson said. "That was the eureka moment in her studio. We decided to build the show around repetition of images, which opened up a broad range of possibilities, artists, and multi-dimensional works for the show."
The show also includes photographs by Dotti Cichon. Her photographs are colorful and abstracted images that are impossible to stop looking at. The artist, who usually carries two cameras and five lenses on her trips to Europe, decided to go light last year, with a point and shoot camera.
"I tried to figure out ways to make the digital point and shoot do artistic photography," said Cichon.
She figured it out. Cichon's technique involved printing multiple panoramics and cutting and pasting them into square formats. She later figured out how to make mirrored images on photoshop, and the result is sort of like looking through a kaleidoscope, but better.
The photos are colorful repeating patterns, made up of photo fragments of buildings and architecture in Switzerland, France, Italy, Monoco, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, and Hungary.
For Cichon, it's like looking into the future.
"I started investigating visions of the future, because my photos were begining to look like visions of the future," said Cichon, who had just read Paris in the Twentieth Century, by Jules Verne, and become inspired by the visual representations of the fourth dimension.
"So it's tied into the theory of the fourth dimension as mirroring a three dimensional object," Cichon said.
Perhaps this is why they are so fascinating to look at.
Also at the show, you'll see beautiful textured encaustic works by Fanne Fernow, interesting repetition pieces from recycled materials like eye glass lenses and scrabble pieces by Angela Gleason, silk screen monotypes by Jane Gregorius, and not-to-be-missed dresses made from recycled candy wrappers, by Charlotte Kruk.
You can mingle with these talented artists at the opening reception, which is Feb. 8 at the Santa Cruz branch, from 5-6:30 p.m.
"February marks the 8th anniversary of Santa Cruz County Bank serving our community and our 8th year of producing art exhibits in every banking location. We’re honored to have shown thousands of works of art by hundreds of artists on our walls," Carson said.
The rotating art shows put on by the Santa Cruz County Bank's Arts Collaborative support local artists, with 100 percent of sales going directly to the artists.
REPEAT! can be seen during regular banking hours at all five branches: Aptos–7775 Soquel Dr.; Capitola–819 Bay Ave.; Santa Cruz–720 Front St.; Scotts Valley–4604 Scotts Valley Dr.; and Watsonville–595 Auto Center Dr.
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