Lecture on “Terra Incognita” by artist Tilla Crowne

Nov. 20, 2023, 5:00 p.m.–6:30 p.m.

Taylor 203

British artist Tilla Crowne is Vassar’s Sitomer Artist in Residence this month. Her work concentrates on drawing and installation, exploring themes of identity, memory, and the body. Largely autobiographical, she uses biological materials—broken eggshells, plants, insects, fungus—as media, either drawing directly onto them or using them to transform objects and spaces.

In this lecture, Crowne will speak on “Terra Incognita”: What if we thought of “unknown lands” as they are depicted on ancient maps as metaphors for places where we, our pasts, and our futures are unknown? Flipping the phrase “terra incognita” on its head, Crowne takes us on a journey through the Hudson Valley. Following the natural folds of rocks through geological time, she parallels this with human actions and the marks left that echo down through the generations. A land where we are unknown can be a place of safety; an opportunity for a new start, at a great enough distance to process our own history.

portrait of Tilla Crowne in profile
Tilla Crowne