Kristin Lindseth Depicts “Encounters” at Mission College’s Vargas Gallery
By Cynthia Cheng
When asked why her ink wash drawings of human figures in contemplative poses don’t have faces, artist and Mission College faculty member Kristin Lindseth responds, “These paintings really reflect the inner world of a person. They’re not about appearances but about the human experience.”
These pieces are part of “Encounters,” Lindseth’s art exhibit featuring 13 ink wash drawings and two bronze sculptures. Until Oct. 15, this exhibit will be at Vargas Gallery, located inside Mission College’s Gillmor Center.
“The show is called ‘Encounters’ because the paintings are about either encounters with another or encounters with oneself; some of the pieces are landscapes without an overt human presence and some are surreal,” Lindseth continues. “Much of my work takes a long time period to complete. But the drawings allow me to work quickly.”
Showing primordial mist and a marshy atmosphere characterized by soft edges is “Encounter at Thingvellir,” a tribute to a national park in Iceland where ancient governments once gathered. With subtle touches of light blue, “Encounter on a Lunar Landscape” hints at shadows of unspecified physical bodies moving around.
“‘Encounter on a Lunar Landscape’ and ‘Encounter at Thingvellir’ are kind of otherworldly and I’m drawn to otherworldly types of landscapes,” Lindseth says.
Spread out across three panels is “Refugees,” where refugees come from all over the illustrated globe.
“When the [earthquake and tsunami] happened in Haiti, there were pictures in the newspaper of hundreds of refugees lined up waiting for food,” Lindseth says. “I was just saddened and shocked to see so many people waiting for just a small handout of food. In January 2010, it rained all month and that’s when I started this whole series. ‘Refugees’ is one of the first paintings I did in the series.”
With “Reaching,” a bronze sculpture, Lindseth portrays a character physically reaching for something. An aspect of the human experience being conveyed here is the need to reach for what is beyond one’s reach.
“I work almost every week with the human figure because my work is about the existential experience of being human,” Lindseth says. “With that comes the search for the purpose and meaning in life and the confrontation with our mortality.”