Roberley Bell, of Batavia, NY, took part in an artist residency at the IEA over the week of June, 13th, 2016. Roberley, a sculptor by trade, has held over twenty single-person exhibitions of her work nationally and internationally and has taken part in just as many fellowships and residencies. Currently reaching at the School of Photography at RIT, Roberley’s work has centered on the production of sculpture and site specific public projects, exploring the natural world both in abstracting from, and in borrowing, to reveal hyper-realized fantastical landscapes.
Roberley’s project at the IEA marked a step out of her comfort zone into the realm of digital print and book making. Still Visible, a project that began with her Fulbright living in Istanbul and revisiting the site in 2015, acts as a continuation of Visible From the Corner of My Eye in which Roberley photographed historical trees throughout Istanbul, small piece of nature in an otherwise very urbanized setting. Still Visible saw Roberley returning to Istanbul to rephotograph these trees in light of the 2013 Gezi park demonstrations, using only her memory, photographs, and help from people on the street to find these locations once more. The locations of these trees were noted and overlayed onto maps of Istanbul along with her annotations of finding these trees again. Several digital prints were made of these journeys on a variety of paper with the assistance of NYSCC professor of printmaking Kathrine Vajda and a book of maps and Roberley’s handwritten overlays was put together for the Wanderlust exhibition taking place at the University of Buffalo Fine Arts Gallery in 2017.
Below are images from Roberley’s residency: