Art exhibit features sketches pieced together

Ten-foot pieces depict Romanesque scenes, mosaic, quilted effects



Lynne Haagensen combines images of drawings from her travels using a copy machine.

CHLOE GRUNDMEIER, Evergreen reporter

Lynne Haagensen, retired University of Idaho professor emeritus, used a photocopy machine to combine and enhance her sketches for her exhibit “Wondering” at the Dahmen Barn throughout the month of April.

“I started using photocopy as an art-making medium and it led me lots of places and eventually to Spain,” Haagensen said. “I use photocopy to put my sketches together like quilts.”

Much of Haagensen’s work focuses on her travels and art residencies, she said. The pieces in her series “Wondering” all came from sketches while traveling in places like Spain and France, many of which have a “Romanesque” feel, she said.

“Some of the pieces are from Spain, some from France and some from Portugal and I mixed them however they seemed to fit,” Haagensen said. “I can’t tell you why I think they fit together but I think they do. I went looking for ‘Romanesque’ things, but I drew what interested and amazed me.”

Haagensen draws whatever catches her eye during her travels, she said. She enjoys using photocopies to enhance them because it replicates the sketches exactly as they are.

She said when she draws while traveling, she’s much more aware of what she sees and holds strong memories of the sights.

“I accept my drawings as a moment in time and an experience,” she said. “I like my drawing to be a document of a specific moment, and photocopy doesn’t reinterpret the drawing.”

Artisans at the Dahmen Barn has been working on this exhibit for over a year, Haagensen said. They offered her a spot in April 2018 but she was unable to get an exhibit together due to lack of time. The size and orientation of her pieces were all decided after Haagensen explored the space she’d be filling, she said.

“A friend more or less dared me. He said, ‘Well Lynne, that’s a really high wall,’ and I knew I had to do something special for it,” Haagensen said. “The pieces within the end section are from four different residencies in Catalonia, Spain, and in Spain. You see things from everywhere.”

Haagensen’s pieces are generally quite large, some nearly 10 feet wide. She combined her sketches into the quilt-like designs to be hung in the four large panes of space of the Dahmen Barn.

“I do all the combining of my sketches with each other and with colored paper in my studio with a printer with the real materials to scale,” Haagensen said. “I like the feel of real materials in my hand.”

She said she likes to compose with paper full size on the wall of her studio on the scale her work will be. When she’s done with composing, she cuts the work into pieces, scan the parts and put them back together using her computer.

Haagensen started using experimental photocopy as an art medium in the 90s, according to the Dahmen Barn website. For many of her pieces, she lays transparent paper over and under her sketches to create different looks, she said. She experiments regularly and sometimes even lifts sections of the drawings for a different effect.

“My drawings inspire me to do what relates to them indirectly through memory, like adding a golden translucent theatre gel to almost represent a shaft of light,” Haagensen said. “I’ve always used experimental photocopy because I’ve never been after a good copy. I’ve been after an interesting one. I’ll rumple the paper, use a different lid or let the image fog to enrich the image.”

According to the Dahmen Barn website, the structure was built in 1935 and the Dahmens purchased it in the 1950s. Its famous wheel fence took 30 years to put together and became a widely recognized symbol of the Palouse. The Dahmen family opened the barn in 2006 for art classes, exhibits and music performances to help share their love for the arts with the Palouse.

Haagensen’s exhibit “Wondering” will be open at the Dahmen Barn until April 28. The Dahmen Barn is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays and is located at 419 N Parkway in Uniontown, Washington. Admission is free and open to the public. The Dahmen Barn will be closed on Easter Sunday.

“The arts enrich us and it’s intrinsic to our appreciation of life,” Haagensen said. “I’m a whole lot older than the students and art gives us a way of connecting and makes us aware of how much connection we already have.”