Meet Artist-in-Residence
Tara Daly

Where did you grow up?
I’ve lived in California most of my life, the last couple of decades in the Bay Area.

How did you find out about Anderson Ranch Arts Center?
Through the Alliance of Artist’s Communities.

What are you working on during your residency?
I am sculpting representations of the some of the nuclear tests done in the coral reefs of the Pacific and in the desert of Nevada. 216 tests were done in oceans and atmosphere from July 16, 1945 to November 4, 1962. Hiroshima took place on August 5, 1945. After 1962 nuclear testing was done underground and over another 900 tests were done. I am also sculpting busts of the Oankali, a fictional alien race that resurrects us and offers us an alternative social paradigm after we destroy ourselves and the planet, from Octavia Butler’s science fiction story Xenogenesis.

Has your residency at Anderson Ranch affected your practice at all? How so?
It’s wonderful to collaborate on a small installation with fellow resident Teresa Audet, we’ve struck up a fun side project that is loose and extra curricular. I’ve been able to really loosen up in my own work as well.

How do you describe your artistic practice?
It’s compulsive, and the “goal” is often murky. Sometimes it feels like archeology, getting on my knees and diligently digging in the hopes of finding some precious artifact which can provide me with clues about how I’m living. Sometimes I make practical wares – tumblers and bowls for daily use. Other times the objects seem to be of a ceremonial or religious purpose.

What role does art play in your life?
My art practice is my anchor and my gateway and my albatross. It helps me ground myself in a practice, and the practice is a constant questioning of – even conflict with I am, what I’m motivated by, what I am capable of and what my purpose could be. It flows with spiritual connection and ebbs with self doubt. There are shallows of uncertainty, fear and failed attempts. At brink of irrelevance there stays the inevitable and unshakable avocation, the insipid urgency to keep digging.

When do you make art in your studio?
Every chance I get, as frequently as is possible. A friend refers to this as “the good fight,” because life, people you love, responsibilities, joyous activities, chores and Facebook will get between you and the studio.

How do you spend your time when not working in the studio?
When chores are done I love to be outdoors, hiking or skiing. I also love lounging on the couch with my boyfriend and binge watching Game of Thrones and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

What intrigues you in the art world today?
I think I am intrigued by artists who are embracing the occult, or occultists who are embracing the arts. As someone who is drawn to this symbolism I think this is a rejection of capitalism and a hunger for a wholistic alternative for social structure. I’m also Im intrigued by the proliferation of workshops and arts centers and community colleges that serve artists and artistic exploration outside of “art college” – communities that teach and foster creativity. Places like Anderson Ranch Arts Center and the Berkeley Potters’ Studio.

What art do you most identify with?
I love work that is dark, almost morbid in its unflinching look at humanity, when it can still be infused with beauty and hope.

What is your favorite part about Anderson Ranch?
Everything. This place is an artist’s paradise. The ranch is an incredibly supportive environment, and everyone including staff seem genuinely happy to work here. I love the mealtimes and the comradery. The facilities are amazing, the studios are wonderful. I really like that all the artists and staff eat supper together. I also love the beauty of the surroundings, the snow and the skiing.


How can we find you on social media and the web?

Tarakdaly.com

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