Headlands Center for the Arts

Angela Willetts

california | visual
Graduate Fellowship Program 2016—2017, University of California, Davis

Artist Statement

I begin with the impulse to touch. Touch calls forth attention as my body’s surface encounters and must negotiate an other. Then comes holding, wrapping, tracing, wrestling, managing, surrendering. I try to understand each object’s body—its weight, its internal structure, how it rests, moves, resists, acquiesces, remembers. A dialogue emerges. Sometimes these encounters are humorous, pointing to everyday struggles with the laws of physics and the futility of trying to control or connect with things that are not oneself. As my body feels its way toward knowing, tasks and questions are generated and folded back into the work. Using open-ended, experience-based inquiry about objects and subjects I challenge the mind/body and self/other binaries, choosing instead to explore ideas of entanglement and interdependence. Some materials resist, some willingly submit, some seem to play along. Each records or erases the traces of our engagement in accordance with its nature.

While At Headlands

Headlands offers an opportunity to place my body into new and unknown environments and see what happens. Until now my work has focused primarily on material/body interactions within the neutral space of my studio. I hope to venture beyond those white walls to the buildings, grounds and nearby environs of Headlands, to make sitespecific reactions through performance, video, drawing, and installation. As always, my approach will be open-ended and experience-based, guided by the chosen materials and the moment-to-moment dialogue between us.

Selected Works

Personal Website