Amanda Nedham “I’ll Draw You A Fly”

Field Projects

poster for Amanda Nedham “I’ll Draw You A Fly”

This event has ended.

“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.”

-Dian Fossey’s last diary entry

Dian Fossey transplanted herself into a life of long-term, solitary research, camping on a muddy mountainside to live with gorillas in Rwanda where ultimately, she was murdered for her radical methodology. One of her own research fellows was even accused early on in this unsolved crime.

Travis Walton disappeared for five days while working in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests near Snowflake, Arizona. He later described how he had been killed by a beam of light and subsequently revived by aliens; he then endured mass criticism for revealing his story to the public.

In I’ll Draw You a Fly, Amanda Nedham weaves a cocoon of desire between Fossey and Walton who each traveled far from home, and whose experiences resulted in shifted moral landscapes. Seeing themselves as privy to the extraordinary, each became the center of their own expanded universe and acted in ordinance with the world that they wanted to live in. This show asks if longing can cross a veil; parting time and death, Dian reaching across from the other side to find assurance from another lonely traveler that her path—one that intersected with complex political realities and sometimes violence—was worth the sacrifice.

Positioned in the liminal space between offerings, a bronzed chair summons the absent spirits to commune with us. It is a center of gravity, a central point of votive accretion which simultaneously evokes the ghost of the primatologist.

Nedham has created meticulously observed drawings that acknowledge the medium’s association with utility and evidence. Fossey and Walton each used drawing as a means of legitimizing their experience and research, with Dian famously creating “noseprints” to identify her gorilla family. These drawings exist within a chaos of images and reflect that in their carefully selected yet vastly divergent subjects and combinations. They are impressions, offerings, suggestions for Dian, hopeful promptings of love, wonder, and adventure.

Presented in a grid, Amanda Nedham’s drawings become relational indulgences to Dian Fossey, folding in the potential companionship of Travis Walton, observational art, and romantic science. Drawing connotes evidence, it lives with histories of cartography, darwinian exploration, anatomical figuration; it is a hard edge, a defining line, a sense of clarity. Drawing has historically been employed as a conjuring medium because of its association with precision, borders, and observable truths. Pencils placed in planchettes of talking boards, rune stones, and automatic drawing are a few of the practices linking the drafted line with transportation to another realm.

Nedham is the conjurer of Travis Walton’s conduction. She has created a series of triggers, sparking the connection between Walton and Fossey, initiating their immaterial relationship through tactile offerings. I’ll Draw You a Fly is an interrogation of, and dedication to, Dian Fossey, offering Travis Walton up to her as an anchor to life, an embodiment of the strange, a medium through which to transcend her murder.



from February 28, 2019 to April 13, 2019


Amanda Nedham

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