Winter Rusiloski and Angel Fernandez created deadWEST: GALLERY AND STUDIO as an alternative artist space in North Texas, with a location that is due west of the Dallas and Fort Worth Cultural Districts. Rusiloski is a transplant of the Northeastern United States to Texas, and Fernandez is a transplant of Mexico to Texas, to the Northeast and back to Texas. They are pleased to host Terlingu Color in Landscape.
Romanticism is of great influence to the work in this exhibition. In the past three years, Rusiloski and Fernandez have traversed the country visiting the northeast, northwest and the southern United States. On their travels, they photograph the landscapes; their children are often included and serve as small contrasting figures in sublime spaces that evoke an ephemeral existence. Interwoven into Fernandez and Rusiloski’s works are dominant themes that include landscape, journey, borders, power and struggle.
Traversing the southern Texas border with Mexico and seeing the tire devices that the Border Patrol pulls along dirt paths to monitor fresh tracks that immigrants create were of significant visual and social interest. The destructive and subtractive devices, like erasers, are a primary subject. Fernandez creates objects that include tires and utilizes them in his video works. Rusiloski collages fragments of photographs, including tires, from their travels and integrates them in her paintings. In contrast, the northern border of the United States with coastal waters and glacial lakes are juxtaposed with the desolate landscape of the Big Bend. The abundance of reflective water, atmospheric space, white snow and cool colors diametrically oppose the earth-toned warmth of the west Texas desert.
Fabric was recently introduced into their work to provide an emphasis on movement creating passages of color; it has also been incorporated into sculptures. The choreographed journeys through the land while carrying, puling and dragging fabric was a natural extension of both of their previous work. Fernandez has used fabric in his soft sculptures for the past seventeen years. For Rusiloski, the movement through space and performances with devices in the land, became a grand painting. This is documented through photography and video from both drone and traditional cameras. Her background in dance informed the movement on a 40 plus acre raw canvas.
While Rusiloski and Fernandez have separate studio practices, they often collaborate on projects. The immigration crisis at the Texas border prompted their decision to include their six children in their work. The long and perilous journeys that immigrants have made and continue to make inform their work. Their Terlingua Ranch studio is an ideal setting as it emulates a desperate environment with no water, shade or sustenance. By placing their children in the extreme landscapes such as the West Texas desert, the sublime power of Niagara Falls and the majestic space of Glacier National Park, they create a tense dynamic with the land.
Fernandez and Rusiloski work out of their various studios to create these works. They share studios in Lakeside and an off grid forty-acre studio space in Terlingua Ranch in the Big Bend of Texas. Rusiloski also works at her studio at Baylor University’s Harrington House.