UCA encourages visual artists to develop cultural responses to the complex situations of the land they are surrounded by. This common term, land, gathers a web of meanings: property, arrival, capture, region, decent to earth, territory. In this region, the place and its people are densely interwoven – networks of historical family ties serve as a background upon which new threads are incorporated. The knowledge of land often traces a lineage of the territory, an accumulation that both defines the communities by their natural locations and affects how communities negotiate the nature of the territory.
As a consequence of creating artworks from this unique regional perspective, the limitations of traditional art institutions such as galleries are revealed — physically, historically, and conceptually. The ways we look at these new works change due to the new contexts we have created (see Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain as the foundational example). Structures of looking change from a contained, institutional framework towards one that is diffuse, responsive, profuse, and organic.
Art and nature (for that matter art in nature) share a common structure — that of exuberant creation for its own sake, a production grounded in exploration of place. Perhaps this creativity can change the wider recognition of art in the larger society, as the relevance of knowing the territories from which we are sustained is unceasingly relevant at this time.
The work in 2016 Uncommon Common Art emerges from the land and contextually reflects the transformational abundance discovered.