100 Colorado Creatives: Norman Broomhall and Jean Albus
#73: Norman Broomhall and Jean Albus
Jean Albus, "Magpie," from Into the Within, Hinterland Art Space.
Norman Broomhall raises chickens, sells vintage objects and mirrors antiqued by hand, plays the guitar and takes photographs; Jean Albus is a photographer, as well. Both are inspired by the call of nature and, together, they've created Into the Within, an installation that's been creating a buzz since it opened at Hinterland Art Space on April 12.
The heart of Into the Within -- which has something to do with magpie nests, secret places and a kind of spiritual naturalism -- is a walk through a thicket, realistically recreated by the artists inside Hinterland and lined with nests, hidden altars, images and bits of everyday flotsam and found objects. It is haunting, magical and supernatural -- and about to end its run at the RiNo gallery.
Altar detail, "Into the Within."
But first, Broomhall and Albus will host a First Friday closing reception at Hinterland from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 3, offering a last chance to experience their symbolic woodland world. Visit Hinterland online for details.
Though Albus lives in Montana, she's shown work in local galleries and calls Denver "my big city -- only eight hours away." And because her participation in Into the Within is so necessary to its impact, we asked her to join Broomhall in tackling our 100CC quiz as a duo, because, well, because. Every now and then, an honorary Coloradan passes through our state.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Norman Broomhall: I would love to do a project with Andy Goldsworthy and John Cale. They both have my dream jobs. One works with nature as art. The other creates sounds both serene and intense. I love both of their styles and I think the aesthetic created would be superlative. Sight, sound, earth...Imagine the possibilities.
Jean Albus: Since I'm relatively new to the art of installation, I wouldn't mind working with the king of landscape installation, Christo. I've watched every documentary ever made about his and Jean Claude's work. I was fortunate to view The Gates in NYC. His concepts are huge; he never gives up. The experiences he creates are of such a vast scope. I'd love to be a part of that. But if he's not available, surely Andy Goldsworthy would be cool with a collaboration. I would be satisfied to sit quietly and watch, waiting for orders. He has incredible tenacity and a connection to nature that resonates with me. I'd love to absorb some of that.
Continue reading for more on Albus and Broomhall.