Miranda & Bruce Gray
On March 14th, 2020, Bruce and Miranda Gray shuttered their little store in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The world was going into lockdown, so they went home, not knowing when they would be able to return to business. This is the story of their creative adventures in the following two years, as they waited for the Covid-19 pandemic to clear.
On a wall of Miranda's studio, they created an 8 ft wide by 6 ft high chalkboard. In frustration and sorrow, Miranda started writing on the chalkboard, and Bruce came upstairs to the studio and joined in.
In the early days of the pandemic, people would go to their roof-tops and balconies to make noise and music in honor of the first responders and the people who were being laid low by the virus. The chalkboard drawings developed as an action of support. Every evening Bruce and Miranda would go upstairs, turn on the music, and draw together.
After they completed a drawing, they would make a photograph, erase the chalkboard and begin again. The process developed into a home ritual, a daily ceremony, which created its own rhythm and marked time through the isolated days of the shutdown. When the pandemic restrictions eased, the Gray's emerged back into the world and the Pandemic Chalkboard series was complete.
During the same time, and since, Miranda has made small egg tempera paintings which incorporate elements of the chalkboard drawings and portraits of people and animals that are important in the Grays' lives.
Axle Contemporary will present an Exterior wheatpasted BROADSIDES exhibition made of elements from the chalkboard drawings, reprinted and composed as new artwork especially for the exterior of the mobile artspace. Inside will be prints of the original chalkboard drawings and an actual chalkboard on which the two artists will work on a drawing over the course of the month of September.
At Gray Matter will be an exhibition of Miranda's paintings based on the drawings, along with Bruce's collection of antique tools.
A book has just been released in conjunction with the two exhibitions. It is available both at Axle Contemporary and at Gray Matter.