Maggie Nowinski

Maggie Nowinski is an interdisciplinary artist and teaching artist based in Western Massachusetts. Her current body of work is rooted in drawing and printmaking, though her artworks usually take the format of installation and combine traditional and unusual media, audio, and performative processes. Her work investigates somatic response to cultural pace, internal and external dynamics and human emotion through imagined specimen drawings that appear as abject human-botanical resilient entities. Nowinski’s practice is embodied by an awareness of the conceptual and political inevitability of art making and an adoration for repetition, daily mark-making and long walks. She often collaborates with other visual artists, sound artists and poets.

The intaglio photopolymer prints and three artist books included in the Zea Mays 2022 flat file collections emerged from imagery generated through a daily drawing practice from 03/13/2020 – 03/14/2021 entitled *Divoc: Daily Drawings. For this project, each drawing was made on 11” x 14” Rives BFK, with mixed black and white media. They began as a way to visualize the virus and then anything could be a prompt. From the mundane, to the imagined: the observed botanical bursts of spring, Covid graphs in newspapers, a photo or poem from a friend in lockdown abroad, aerosol mist, notions of isolation and unity, cairns to gain a sense of location – an indication of direction – and so on. For these prints, I created new compositions, layering and combining imagery from various drawings on different days. The chronological information of the original drawings are no longer an anchor and what emerges is an amalgam of fragments from various days.

* A Footnote: Divoc is Covid backwards, reflecting looking back to the year when the pandemic hit. Another meaning comes from Latin suggesting God’s Act. Another, more apt association, suggested that the root “voc” meant “to call” and “di” referred to divided – or “voc” as in voce or voice – all reflecting the divided political landscape of the current moment.

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