January 2019

Cairn Sounds

Rachel Schmidt in collaboration with musician Om.era.kev

Hamiltonian Gallery is pleased to begin 2019 with a debut solo exhibition by DC-based artist Rachel Schmidt. “Cairn Sounds” which 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, which 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 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. “Carin 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.

January 12 - February 16 2019

Opening Reception:

Saturday, January 12 7 - 9pm

Artist Talk:

Tuesday, February 5, 7pm

Hamiltonian Artist:

Rachel Schmidt

Guest Artist:

Om.era.kev