Patricia Fernández

Patricia Fernández
Sunny Luna House
March 20, 2022, 11 AM – 5 PM
Yucca Valley

For how we are in time and space: Annotations, Fernández will welcome visitors to her house which will serve as a temporary exhibition site for new and ongoing bodies of work.

Since September 2017, Patricia Fernández has lived and worked in Yucca Valley, initially staying in a small trailer. In March 2018 she got the deed to the house on the property, and began rehabilitating it. The house and the surrounding landscape have come to serve as an important ground for an itinerant practice informed by travel to her home country Spain and elsewhere, that draws upon landscape, cultural history, and familial history for much of its content. During the pandemic, Fernández gave birth to her first child, Luna, and the house was named Sunny Luna in her honor.

Among other precedents, Sunny Luna House recalls Marcia Hafif’s Mill House in upstate New York, which the artist purchased in 1983.

I bought this old Mill House (from around 1829), one that had been transformed into a duplex of summer rentals, and began removing what had been added to it. A stream ran by, the chestnut wheels remained under the house, no longer in the stream, together with stone wheels no longer used for grinding wheat. There was no running water, no electricity, no functioning plumbin

In both cases, it is possible to see the house as an artwork but also a new contextual frame for making work—an experiment in highly intentional living that erases strict distinctions between life and art. Hafif’s work made at the Mill House included writing, clothes, a garden calendar based on her planting schedule, and constellation drawings based on what stars could be seen through binoculars from the site.

Fernández’s Sunny Luna House is a secondary studio as well as a frame for viewing her work in a variety of media, including painting, ceramics, furniture, and books. Works currently on view include a new series of ceramic cups based on cult objects and drawings found in matrilineal villages of Dalmatia (Adriatic Coast) circa 6000 BCE, which depict representations of Mari, the sun-goddess. They are formed by pinching and pulling clay, interpreting the phallus fertility symbol as a nipple and breast.

Also on view is an example from Fernández’s recent series of paintings, Visualization for Dilation 1-10 (2021), inspired by the vastness of the desert landscape as well as the changes she observed happening in her body during pregnancy. The wheel shape appearing in the series references an instructional tool on cervical dilation used by midwives. Simultaneously occurring in this series are such phenomena as microchimerism, or the exchange of cells between fetus and mother; diagrams for ocular and tactile stimulation; and the phases of the moon. The red linen used in the paintings is dyed with cochineal collected by the artist. Representing ten months, they are paired with ten round walnut discs engraved with an “X.”

This “X” pattern appears frequently in Fernández’s work and alludes to a carving method passed on to the artist from her woodworker grandfather living in Spain, and more expansively to the conveyance of history, and the connection of past and future. There are many carving details to be found in the house, made from remnants of past shows or pieces from installations. Also notable is a clock constructed with pieces raked from the land, as well as a clock in the kitchen that was carved by the artist’s grandfather.

A selection of eight artist books by Fernández will also be available for viewing and reading. Both tactile and literary, these books provide insight into the artist’s travels and related research.

A checklist will be available at the site.

Fernández’s project was supported in part by a 2022 Foundation of Contemporary Art Emergency Grant.

This event will take place adjacent to Matt Siegle’s Sculpture For A Field #5: Sun.

From Los Angeles take the 10 E to the 62

As you are about to enter Joshua Tree, turn left on Yucca Mesa Rd and drive all the way to where the paved road ends at the Mesa Market.

Continue driving on the dirt road, turn right at Sunny Sands (one dirt road past Breezy Lane).

Do not drive down Breezy Lane as the sand is very soft and it is common to get stuck.
Sunny Luna House is located on the Sunny Sands side, and the five acre property extends southward to Breezy Lane.

Matt Siegle’s Sculpture For A Field #5: Sun will take place on the 10 acres of BLM land to the east and west of Perris.

Event Documentation

Images courtesy of Patricia Fernández. Photography by Michael Ned Holte.