Obstacles of Every Sort, 2020. Felted wool, thread, sewing pins. Courtesy of the artist.
“My art expresses sympathy for oppressed people, especially women who have been exploited or caught up in conflicts. Many works are responses to events that are disturbing. As an artist with PTSD, I am limited in what I can do versus what I would like to do. Through my art I am making objects that help others, and myself, to heal and understand.”—Lynn Beldner
Lynn Beldner’s work is diaristic and immediate, utilizing domestic processes to respond to the world around her. By sewing, drawing, and combining, she creates delicate objects that subtly pair the fragile interior, with the dangers of the external world.
The Noise They Make, 2020. Ink, paper, glass vials. Courtesy of the artist.
“My artwork is an open door into my psyche and my physical space. This makes me somewhat vulnerable but, in the end, provides great rewards to me and to others.” —Lynn Beldner
This work consists of many small vaccination bottles containing tiny works on paper. For Beldner they act as amulets—reassuring sculptures that can be carried around. Despite being made of glass, they are sturdy and strong and clink musically in her pocket. The drawings convey a story, with a language that Beldner has used repeatedly in her art practice.
Emergency Blankets, 2001-2021. Fabric and thread. Courtesy of the artist.
“The pandemic has left me feeling aimless, scared, and uncertain as to what to do next. Everything seems so insignificant and meaningless. Yet I knew I needed to do something.” —Lynn Beldner
These Emergency Blankets are about new beginnings, feeling safe, and looking forward. Beldner completed the first one immediately after 9/11 and they still feel emotionally and conceptually necessary. Emergencies seem to be our new norm. Whether they are happening to us or someone thousands of miles away, they infiltrate our state of mind. By placing this deceptively simple object in the spotlight, Beldner elevates its status and activates its subtle influence.
About the Artist
Lynn Beldner studied photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her sketchbooks/journals from the past 36 years were recently acquired by the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Harvard University. She is the recipient of the James Phelan Award, Bemis Art Residency, Public Glass Residency, and Paulson Bott Residency. Her work is in collections at Stanford University, the Crocker Art Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Berkeley Art Museum, and many other private collections.