A public garden & cultural center

Cameron Rowland


Sunroom Project Space | July 8–August 19, 2012
Van Lier Visual Artist Fellow

Cameron Rowland, Those, 2012, mixed media installation, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Cameron Rowland’s work creates a platform for critical dialogue about shared realities. As he investigates the relationship between the exhibition space and the public realm, Rowland’s background in architecture influences his exploration of the spatial and historical conditions of a site.

In Those, developed during Wave Hill’s 2012 Winter Workspace Program, Rowland scrutinizes the boundaries of the gallery. He does not accept the Sunroom as a neutral platform for exhibition, but as one bound up in the history and context of the private estate that existed here before Wave Hill became a public institution in the mid-twentieth century. He treats the Sunroom, Glyndor House and Wave Hill as a whole, as part of his installation, rather than simply its site. The objects in the room have been created in response to particular physical realities of the former estate. In this way, the works act as interventions in, or extensions of, the history and public image of Wave Hill.

Rowland examines the visual character of Wave Hill as a neo-classical estate. As the former home of George W. Perkins, a partner of J.P. Morgan, Wave Hill bears a legacy of capitalist achievement. Here the room is inhabited by Rowland’s sculpture containing the image of nearby public housing development Marble Hill Houses. Rowland draws on the perception of these sites, despite their proximity, as part of an implied cultural binary, and questions the foundations of this perception. He considers the economic segregation between these two neighborhoods, and the social values of which it is a function.

Rowland draws further on the aesthetic of the estate as he addresses the absence of the non-white figure (as occupant or service worker) from the official historical record of Wave Hill. Using hair weave glue, typically invisible, Rowland makes reference to this absent figure. Its presence evokes the relationship between idealization and homogeneity, particularly in the historiography of Wave Hill.












Cameron Rowland, Those, 2012, mixed media installation, dimensions variable.
Courtesy of the artist.

Winter Workspace Program
Glyndor Gallery | February 14–March 25, 2012

With particular attention to under-valued communities, especially in the location in which he is working, Cameron Rowland’s art investigates the boundary between the gallery and public space. Rowland’s background in architecture influences his exploration of the sculptural, historical and cultural conditions of a site. During the Winter Workspace, Rowland conducted research, investigating Wave Hill’s historical documents and archival photographs. As a result, the documentation of this exploration became evident as Rowland addressed the relationship between gallery, historic home, and visitor while working at Wave Hill.

In conjunction with his Winter Workspace residency, Rowland also conducted a collaborative booklet project. In this workshop, the artist led an interactive discussion on the role of documentation, language and site in the process of making and viewing art.  Participants created a booklet using images and text inspired by the conversation in the space, while developing an awareness of the documentary object in everyday life.

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.