Shortly after finishing college, I journeyed “out west” to Colorado, to try out a life under a huge sky. I had then, and have retained, a hunger for wide-open spaces, where place outweighs personhood. Land that by its completeness, indifference and magnitude, diminishes me. Places me.
But before even Colorado there was the ocean, since I grew up in Los Angeles, where it was a ten-minute drive away. My fascination with the ocean began in my childhood, and rendering the repetitive nature of the surface of the sea has occupied me for several years. In researching images of the surface of the sea I came across photos taken by the Coast Guard that illustrate what the open ocean looks like at varying wind force. I used these as starting points for photopolymer intaglios.
Somehow I associate wild tracts of sea and land with longing. When my eye travels to a distant horizon, there is a longing for that which is just beyond reach, for something ever beyond reach, ever just slightly incomprehensible. The horizon becomes a signifier of desire, of being forever midway, reaching.
Linda Simmel (born in Los Angeles) is a Bay Area artist. Her art practice includes painting, drawing and printmaking. For the past several years she has been rendering images of the surface of the sea and the horizon, working with the ideas of the influence of history on the psyche and its subsequent feelings of longing. Linda has a BFA from the University of California at Berkeley. She was represented by Takada Gallery. In 2012 she was an artist resident at the Baer Art Center in Iceland, in 2013 an artist at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California. She has been an artist in residence at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California since 2007. Linda currently lives and works in Sonoma, California.