Abandon by Nanette Wylde

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For most of my adult life I have been periodically haunted by a poem I memorized as a child. The text would run through my head for days on end and then I wouldn't think of it at all for several years. In 2004, I decided to do something about this and created an art project around the poem, Abandon.

The project consisted of three pairs of children's sized chairs. Each pair was painted a different color — pink, blue, yellow. The pairs sat facing each other. On one chair was a framed portrait of a doll, approximately 14" x 20". The other chair contained headphones with a nine minute audio reading of the poem by a variety of voices. The gallery visitor sat on the chair with audio, listened to the poem while looking at the portrait across from her. This book was also a part of that larger installation.

Abandon juxtaposes a poem about the fleeting innocence and freedom of childhood with images of  "abandoned" dolls.

Abandon (by Anonymous) This is a day for daisies, let us go like swallows down the highways of the air and we shall find the daisies like a snow suspended on the hills of everywhere. Give me your hand, through woodlands dark and sweet, we will float like the wanton feather with reckless hearts and summer haunted feet do not delay, we are not long together. For days of brief abandon will not come when we are underground so let us yield to the blood that battles in us like a drum and find the breast of beauty in a field. There will be days for tears and dust hereafter; this is a day for daisies and for laughter.

Artist Bio

California native, Nanette Wylde is a conceptual artist, writer and cultural worker making socially reflective, language-based works generally of hybrid media. Wylde has a great passion for the book as an art object, and as a container and conveyor of thought and imagination. Even so, many of her own works take digital form. They can only be experienced via a computer and fall under the category of Electronic Literature. She thinks of these works as books also. In addition to creating in book form, Wylde curates exhibitions of artists' books under the title, Conceptually Bound. Wylde has a BA in Behavioral Science from San Jose State University. Her MFA is in Interactive Multimedia from Ohio State University. She is Professor of Art & Art History at California State University, Chico where she developed and heads the Digital Media/Electronic Arts Program.  
Artist Statement        My work starts with a question. Some unanswered phenomenon will go nagging around my gray matter, repeating itself in hushed, slightly obsessive tones until I satisfy with research — extensive research, and then a response. While it is the research that points me to answers, it is the actual making of the work, completing the project that satisfies the question. My interests include: language, personality, difference, beliefs, systems, ideas, movement, reflection, identity, perceptions, structures, stories, socialization, definitions, context, memory, experience, change, and residue.