Hamiltonian Gallery Presents Rachel Schmidt Cairn Sounds

By Editorial Team on January 7, 2019

Sat, 12 January 2019 - Sat, 16 February 2019

Courtesy of Hamiltonian Gallery.
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 12 from 7pm to 9pm

Hamiltonian Gallery is pleased to begin 2019 with a debut solo exhibition by DC-based artist Rachel Schmidt. Cairn Sounds opens to the public on Saturday, January 12 from 7 – 9 pm with a reception and performance by percussionist om.era.kev.

Cairn Sounds is a multimedia sound and projection-based installation that takes footage shot in the remote Isle of Skye in Scotland as its source material. Images of the sea, rivers and hills overlay sculpture, lace and fabric in tandem with rhythmic, percussion-heavy soundscapes. Experienced together, the video projection, sculptures and sounds create the visceral sensation of being in a remote place where human presence is detectable, but is often felt before it is seen.

Cairns – towers and piles of stones – stand like sentinels in the Scottish countryside. They are signifiers of human presence, transcending time to memorialize events, evidence that someone or something existed. The ancient practice of building cairns accesses a universal creative impulse that transcends class, race and geography; all our ancestors wanted to be immortalized in stone.

Human interference in nature extends to locales as distant as the Isle of Skye. The evidence is irrefutable and ever-present: it asserts itself as docile sheep grazing in a field, a stone wall cutting through a hill, a television lying face-down in a riverbed. Like cairns, these interruptions serve as testament to humanity’s unassailable and irreversible presence in nature. Cairn Sounds is at once an ode to the Isle of Skye and re-imagination of the distorted history of its rugged landscape, one that attests to man’s presence within it over the course of millennia.

Rachel Schmidt (b. 1981, Topeka, Kansas) uses time-based media and installation to explore urbanization and its impact on ecosystems, future landscapes, and the role that myth plays in our understanding of the environment. Schmidt earned an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore (2007) before moving to Warsaw, Poland for a year of artistic research. Schmidt has been an artist-in-residence at the Arlington Arts Center, Taipei Artist Village, Sabhal Mor Ostaig in Scotland, Vermont Studio Center, and the Taller Portobelo Norte in Panama. She has received grants and commissions from the Halcyon House, Foggy Bottom Sculpture Biennial, Mount Vernon Triangle BID, Arlington County Public Arts, and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. She has exhibited throughout the US and Internationally, and has been reviewed in Sculpture Magazine, The Washington Post, and numerous other print and online publications. She lives and works in Washington, DC.

Om.era.kev is a musician and artist currently existing in Baltimore, Maryland. As a drummer, he has performed in 21 countries; his most visible work has been with the Dan Deacon Ensemble, appearing both in the live setting and on the recordings “Bromst” and “America.” Kevin has spent much time as an active member of the music and artistic communities of Washington DC and Baltimore, but has also resided in West Virginia, Hawaii, and Maine.

Gallery Hours:

  • Tuesday through Saturday: 12pm to 6pm
  • or by appointment

Hamiltonian is located at 1353 U Street NW. For more information visit www.hamiltoniangallery.com.