THE BELLA RIBBONS PROJECT

The Bella Ribbons Project is an award-winning multidisciplinary body of work created by Sarah Stolar and Seth D. Myers. It investigates figurative movement within physical, emotional, and cerebral space. The individual pieces are seamed together by a single protagonist and focal point, a young dancer. The dancer makes her way through a myriad of ethereal and psychological landscapes. The variety of media allows for subtle shifts in theme and narrative to arise. Her challenges, struggles, and triumphs reflect and provoke questions about our collective human connections to nature and grace, time and space, trauma and recovery, and consciousness. 

 

The project includes video installation, single-channel video, short film, photography, drawing, sculpture, interactive installation, experimental dance, and ephemera for exhibition and screening, as well as an educational and lecture component intended for museums, universities, and other institutions. Invited collaborating artists include Bella Palermo, Enrico Trujillo, John Spencer, Heather Marie Bergerson, and Andrew Velie.

BELLA

Bella is an award-winning experimental short film that integrates multiple genres of time-based media into a cohesive cinematic work. Visuals, sound, and pace drive the narrative. The figures' movements, natural environments, and inanimate objects function as signifiers to provide meaning without dialogue. This unique work also uses a mashup of video techniques which weave a spiritual and psychological journey of a young fairytale-like dancer. She moves through a myriad of epic landscapes - labyrinths, dunes, mesas, vistas, forests - and between youthfulness and impending womanhood. Bella is a visual and conceptual experience that challenges viewers from both an emotional and psychological perspective.

Sarah Stolar and Seth D. Myers with John Spencer

THE INVESTIGATION DRAWINGS

The Investigation Drawings are a selection from over 200 small drawings (circa 1998-2016). These drawings preempt The Bella Ribbons Project and directly inform the imagery, color, mood, and concepts of the project.

Sarah Stolar

DEATH DREAM

Death Dream is a single-channel, vertical video mounted on a freestanding tripod. The vertical work functions like a multiverse, allowing viewers to experience multiple universes of a young dancers journey at the same time.

Sarah Stolar and Seth D. Myers

RIBBONS 1-6

Ribbons 1-6 is an award-winning six-segment video series that exhibits as a multi-channel video installation or a single-channel video. Each individual work functions similar to a dream state as they all begin at an arbitrary time and end abruptly. When experienced in their respective order, the works are paradoxical; linear and non-linear, interconnected and disconnected, abstract and representational, narrative and non-narrative, dark and light. The audience is challenged to work through this enigma.

Sarah Stolar and Seth D. Myers

THE PINNACLE DRAWINGS

The Pinnacle Drawings are works on paper made in response to The Bella Ribbons Project films and video works, these drawings merge cut and collaged large-format archival inkjet film stills with expressive mark-making.

Sarah Stolar

TRIPPING THE LIGHT FANTASTIC

Tripping the Light Fantastic is an interactive multimedia installation that is influenced by the enchanting and psychedelic qualities of New Mexico. It invites the audience to engage with current interactive technology to choreograph their own audiovisual performative experience. Participants touch copper conductive ribbons and individually activate large projected videos of a dancer leaping, floating, and twisting in the air.  The audience becomes musical composers, choreographers, and performers on a stage in a time-altering universe of color, light, and sound.

Sarah Stolar, Enrico Trujillo, Seth D. Myers, and Heather Marie Bergerson

THE SHADOW HOUSE

The Shadow House is a small multimedia installation made up of several key components. The focal point takes the form of a free-floating hand-crafted dollhouse with a small open window above the front door. This opening allows individual viewers to peek inside, revealing an empty and desolate interior. A unique gold-framed portrait of a young girl hangs on the back wall. 3-D mapped projected flames move in slow motion illuminating and warming all sides of the exterior dollhouse. This collective of materials is contained within a perfect sphere painted in non-reflective black. The painted circular area creates the illusion of an infinite black hole that isolates the burning house within its own energy field. This field is only broken by the intrusion of an onlooker's advance to the open window. The experience of this intimate installation invokes a real-time shift in emotional, physical, and psychological awareness of personal space.

Sarah Stolar and Enrico Trujillo

THE RIBBON DRAWINGS

The Ribbon Drawings are works on paper made in response to The Bella Ribbons Project's interwoven narratives and 

multidisciplinary body of work. 

Sarah Stolar

THE EXHIBITION

The Bella Ribbons Project exhibition may include single-channel video, video installations/sculptures, a collection of drawings, medium and large-scale photography mounted on aluminum, interactive installation, performance art, and ephemera. This exhibition can be scaled to include up to three galleries — one light-tight for ongoing, large-scale film screening and two for installation, two-dimensional work, and glass cases with sketchbooks, props, and maquettes. It can also be exhibited as a small, curated group of objects and art coupled with a singular auditorium screening. A lecture and educational component may accompany the exhibition.

Lecture : Time and the Creative Process

Sarah Stolar presents slides and video that demonstrate the outcomes of investigative creative process when it spans over the course of more than a decade. Interdisciplinary works, including drawings and sketchbooks that date back to the late 1990’s, help inform the creative decisions made in the development of The Bella Ribbons Project. Flow, stream of consciousness, and expressiveness are discussed in relationship to intention and direct decision making in art making, as well as insight into how large projects evolve from diverse media, influences, collaborations, and visual and conceptual research. 

Educational Component : The Shadow City

The content of the workshop stems from Stolar and Myers' collective research into the subconscious in relation to physical spaces -  the creation of a shadowy underworld. It also functions as direct insight into a multidisciplinary approach to the creative process. Participants work collaboratively using light, shadow, and video as a medium for sculpture. The outcome is a shadow city with light and looping videos representing the exhibiting city. Participants will engage in learning the elements and principles of art — form, value, space, contrast — and consider the conceptual qualities of light — light as a source of privilege, the absence of light, societies reliance upon light and light as a source of energy.

To download a full workshop description, click here.

SCREENINGS & EXHIBITIONS

Basilicata Film Festival, Basilicata, Italy / 2020

Bella - Semifinalist

Currents International New Media Festival

El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM / 2021

Tripping the Light Fantastic / Interactive multimedia installation 

Synergy Film Festival, New York, NY / 2020

Bella / Screening / Best Experimental

California Women's Film Festival, Hollywood, CA / 2020

Bella / Screening / Official Selection

 

Speechless Film Festival, Mankato, MI / 2020

Bella / Screening / Official Selection

Oneota Film Festival, Decorah, IA / 2020

Bella / Screening / Official Selection

 

New Jersey International Film Festival, New Brunswick, NJ  / 2020

Bella / Screening / Official Selection

Las Cruces International Film Festival, Las Cruces, NM / 2020

Bella / Screening / Official Selection

Santa Fe Film Festival, Santa Fe, NM / 2020

Bella / Screening / Official Selection

Oregon State International Film Festival, Corvallis, OR / 2020

Bella / Screening / Official Selection

Southern States IndieFanFilmFest, Biloxi, Gulf Coast, MS / 2020

Bella / Screening / Official Selection / Best Cinematography

Winter Tales, Currents 826 Gallery, Santa Fe, NM / 2019

The Shadow House / Multimedia installation

Festival International de Video Arte, Buenos Aires, Argentina / 2019

Bella / Screening / Official Selection

BLOW-UP International Arthouse FilmFestChicago, IL / 2019

Bella / Screening / Official Selection

Finalist - Andy Warhol Award for the Best Experimental Film (US)

Muscatine Independent Film Festival,  Muscatine, IA / 2019

Bella / Screening / Official Selection

​Distinctive Achievement - Cinematography 

2019 Film Streams Filmmakers Showcase

Ruth Sokolof Theater & Dundee Theater, Omaha, NA / 2019

Bella / Screening / Official Selection

 

The 6th International Meeting on Videodance and Videoperformance

Centre de Cultura Contemporànea del Carme, Valencia, Spain / 2019

Bella / Screening

The PASEO, Taos, NM / 2019

Tripping the Light Fantastic / Interactive multimedia installation 

 

Iowa Independent Film Festival, Mason City & Clear Lake, IA / 2019

Bella / Screening / Critics Choice

Alternating Currents Festival, Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA / 2019

Bella / Screening / Best Experimental

Xsection Film Festival, The Arts at the Armory, Somerville, MA / 2019

Helix from Ribbons 1-6 / Screening / Official Selection

Currents International New Media Festival

El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM / 2019

Ribbons 1-6 / Screening

International Screendance Festival, Freiburg, Germany / 2019

Orientation from Ribbons 1-6 / Screening / Official Selection

Central States IndieFanFilm Fest, Rock Island, Illinois / 2019 / Screening

Ribbons 1-6 / Screening / Official Selection / Best Experimental / Best Cinematography 

Art Academy of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH  / 2019

The Bella Ribbons Project / Exhibition / Screening / Lecture / Workshop

Generously funded by the Art Academy of Cincinnati Alumni Grant.

Trace, ProArts, Oakland, CA / 2018

Ribbons 1-6 / Screening

© 2020 Sarah Stolar

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