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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Linda Bond

Weston,
USA

Linda was born in San Francisco and grew up in Montclair, New Jersey. Her father was a news photographer in the military and later, with her mom, he worked in a Westinghouse factory. Coloring books were Linda’s only exposure to art until seeing Michelangelo’s Pieta at the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens, New York. This began a passion that resulted in a BFA from Bradley University and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

In 1978 Linda was awarded an eight-month fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown Massachusetts. Upon returning home to Northampton, Massachusetts in 1979, she had her only child, Elizabeth, and became immersed in a feminist art project with the Hestia Art Collective resulting in a 3,600 sq ft outdoor mural which continues to be a cultural landmark in the city today.

She moved to New York in 1980 where jobs at the Whitney Museum and the Blum Helman Gallery provided immediate access to cutting edge contemporary art. Trips to Italy in 1983 and 1984 were followed by another in 1993 which included a week in Pompeii with cultural anthropologists studying female shrines. These experiences initiated more personal visual narratives in her work and an interest in unconventional materials that supported the content.

The 1999 war in Kosovo inspired the first images she made related to global unrest, and led to a series of drawings in 2001 entitled Smoke. Some months into this project she watched television images of smoke billowing from buildings in New York and Washington DC, and then later from the bombed desert landscape in Afghanistan. These images paralleled the smoke drawings on the studio walls. Since then her work has explored the mediated experience of wartime.

Linda’s work has been exhibited at MFA in Boston, the Brattleboro Museum, the Art Complex Museum, the Fitchburg Art Museum, Brandeis University, and the Corcoran Gallery. Collections include those of Boston University, Simmons College, IBM, Nokia and Fidelity Investments. She is the recipient of grants from the Artists Resource Trust, the Massachusetts Foundation for Humanities & Public Policy, and from the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities. Linda taught at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston for fifteen years and continues as a graduate mentor. Currently she is working on a new drawing series and a large scale installation project as a Resident Scholar at The Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University.

Feminist Artist Statement

As a young painter, my first feminist art project was with the Hestia Art Collective. The five women in our group did research and preliminary drawing for two years then, in 1980, created a 3,600 sq ft outdoor mural depicting women’s history in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and a supporting publication. Located in the center of Northampton and recently restored, the painting was awarded a Governor’s Design Award and continues to be a local landmark and educational tool in the community. This early experience with collaborative, socially engaged art has influenced my work ever since.

Over the past two decades my artwork has incorporated issues of aesthetics with political, social, and religious concerns in a more deliberate way. Working primarily with graphite & gunpowder, I have been making large scale drawings and installations that explore the mediated experience of wartime. Sometimes dampened, and thus rendered inert, the gunpowder acts as a metaphor for the human potential to be compassionate and to promote peace — to create, rather than destroy. Pausing to examine the details of violent events, my work is a personal attempt to both humanize these tragedies and to combat the numbing effects of a media-saturated culture.

War is a feminist issue and women are often most seriously affected by violent unrest. Building peace challenges systems of oppression and power and is a feminist issue as well. During the past two years as a Scholar at Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, my work has been expanding both conceptually and physically. I have embarked on a new project that directly addresses the education and empowerment of women as a catalyst for peace. The goal is to create a work of art that brings attention to the injustices women suffer and highlights the certain benefits of their liberated potential. Collaborating directly with women colleagues and with women from Afghanistan and Pakistan, in partnership with Barakat, a Cambridge based educational organization already working there, I am developing a large scale installation. By participating, my partners here have an opportunity to help women across the globe, and those in Afghanistan and Pakistan have an opportunity to participate in a creative project that helps transform their own lives.

Oftentimes the scope of problems worldwide seems insurmountable and it is difficult to imagining how one person can make a difference. With this project participants are empower as instruments for change.

<p>The History of Women in Northampton 1600-1980</p>

The History of Women in Northampton 1600-1980

Painted by The Hestia Art Collective, we five women did research and preliminary drawing for two years then, in 1980, created a 3600 sq ft outdoor mural depicting women’s history in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts.

The History of Women in Northampton 1600-1980

Painted by The Hestia Art Collective, we five women did research and preliminary drawing for two years then, in 1980, created a 3600 sq ft outdoor mural depicting women’s history in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts.

Untitled (Veil)

Untitled (Volunteer)

a count

a count provides witness to the military and civilian casualties borne in the post-9/11 armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Made with dampened gunpowder, the artist fingerprints hang suspended as personal testament to the individual and collective loss from this violence. Pressed in gunpowder onto streams of WWII and Vietnam-era bandaging, these marks appear to bleed through the fabric, staining material meant to staunch and heal. Yet it is through deliberate use of such materials that Bond transforms them. Neutralizing the destructive potential of this gunpowder in its dampened, ink-like application, Bond appropriates the means of violence as an agent for peaceful creation and remembrance.

The numerical figures on which a count is based were determined by compiling data from a variety of sources. It is difficult to find exact numbers reporting the fatalities of these wars. While the casualties of American and Coalition forces are relatively well documented, accounts of Iraqi and Afghan deaths—both civilian and combatant—are estimates of a wide range. In Afghanistan, the number of casualties lies between 14,000 and 35,000 thousand; in Iraq, between 100,000 and 800,000. These numbers continue to rise. Bond’s title for this work, a count, highlights the incomplete nature of this statistical record.

Shadow War

Installation view of Shadow War. Composed of roughly 370 unique pieces, this project is another attempt to mark events through accumulation. In this instance, the number of images corresponds to the approximate number of American airstrikes in Pakistan since the United States began its clandestine drone program there in 2004. Each work is an original composition: the silhouettes of planes and drones appear in varying configurations, along with markings that evoke the guides and targets of a control screen. These forms, painted or cut from monoprints, are grounded on printed images of satellite views of locations in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.

Shadow War

Shadow War detail: 12 -12” x 15” pieces (of 370)

One to One

A collaborative project using the arts to help advance access to education for women in war-ridden parts of the world.

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