Bailey Connolly

It’s 5’o clock and the windows are black because the sun sets early now because it’s winter but the windows are so black that it looks fake; it looks like there’s construction paper taped on the outside. It’s interesting how construction paper can so easily come to signify-to be- the night sky. It’s like when we were eating rice cakes in the car awhile back and I was trying to justify my love for them since the experience of eating a rice cake is what I imagine it’s like to eat Styrofoam. I’m not even sure that I like the taste of rice cakes but I keep buying them because I love pretending that I’m eating foam because it’s so disgusting and messy but also so dystopic and sexy, in a way. 

Now that I’m in LA I‘ve yet to not wear my camo hoodie and my boys jeans and I feel both stuck and lost like a dog forever circling before it lies down to sleep. I’m trying to write about, to write alongside, the work that I made in Virginia and it all feels so complicated and so emotional. I’m listening to an early segment of a studio visit that I recorded in which we were talking about the act of insulating, both physically and emotionally. You were telling me about how you often felt the need to protect a space because of your behavior, how you don’t have the desire to protect things but that you wish you did because you always end up exhausting yourself with the labor of cleaning and repairing. When I looked up ‘insulate’ in the dictionary it was defined: protect (something) by interposing material that prevents the loss of heat or the intrusion of sound; protect from the unpleasant effects or elements of something; (archaic) make (land) into an island.I’m interested in insulation’s relationship to protection and also how insula,insulation’s root, literally means ‘island’ in Latin.

If rice cakes can be foam, then foam can be rice cakes and rice cakes can be little islands. I’m thinking about whether it would be nice or dumb to insulate my walls in rice cakes. While you feel the need to protect a space because of your behavior, I feel the need to protect myself from the world; to protect myself from both my own mother and mother earth. I recently realized that in the studio I’m literally always building walls. What’s the difference between insulating and isolating? Maybe insulating is what we do to protect ourselves when we’re urban and isolating has more to do with nature. 

I went to see Helen Molesworth’s last exhibition at MOCA yesterday and the skrim over Tacita Dean’s video installation looked like pantyhose and it made me feel like I was somehow a woman’s thigh or that I was somehow shrunken, living within a woman’s thigh, and the stretched, semi-transparent pantyhose were my protection from the world. It was hard to photograph. 


Dakota Higgins

The last blog I write for Alternative Worksite. It’s been real. This place has been good to me.

Though I’m ready to get back to Los Angeles, I know that a part of me is going to miss Roanoke. I’ve learned so much from my time here. I’ve forged important relationships with people that I think will be long-lasting. This is an experience that I am going to carry with me for a long time. What’s more to say?


Roger Buttles

It’s hard to believe that my five weeks at Alternative Worksite has already come and gone. Although it went by very fast, I am happy with the friendships I’ve forged and the artworks I’ve made here.  It’s been a great experience and I’m thankful for having the opportunity to live and work in this serene environment. Each morning when I entered my studio, I was welcomed with a great view of a nearby mountain with a star on top, and foliage on the trees outside of my window. It’s been an ideal space for me to paint and it was quite a contrast from my Brooklyn studio view of buildings and power-lines. This change in scenery was not only pleasant to look at each day but it started to influence my work pretty quickly. Looking back, it’s not surprising to me that I mostly made paintings of nature while here.

Now it’s all about packing my studio, patching the walls, cleaning up, and getting ready for my drive back to NYC. I’m excited to return home to my wife and daughters but I have to admit at the same time I will be sad leaving here. I hope to maintain the friendships I’ve made here and to also recommend the residency to other friends of mine with the time and desire to come. Thanks Alternative Worksite, it’s been real!

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