I like to be guided by what might be called the un­con­scious. — artist Anne Fer­rell

Pasatiempo - - CURRENTS - The Is­land of Pal, Dark­room CO, Nev­er­land,

Far­rell had a hit two years ago when she made

a site-spe­cific in­stal­la­tion that pre­miered at Cur­rents and was an imag­i­na­tive take on a myth­i­cal is­land in­hab­ited by a mag­i­cal horse named Pal. It was con­structed as an im­mer­sive en­vi­ron­ment and in­spired a child­like wonder. “I like to be guided by what might be called the un­con­scious, and it brings up stuff that I might not be so knowl­edge­able about for my­self,” she said. “Then once it’s out, it’s def­i­nitely vis­i­ble and know­able.” Pal has be­come some­thing of a mas­cot for Far­rell. His im­age ap­pears as a sta­ble el­e­ment on each page of her web­site. “He be­came a real per­sona and had a lot of spe­cific qual­i­ties of what he could and couldn’t do, would and wouldn’t do. Maybe it’s kind of child­ish, but I don’t care.”

Far­rell has been in­volved with Cur­rents, which is now in its 15th year, since the begin­ning, when the or­ga­niz­ers were just show­ing new work in video. Since then, the fes­ti­val has ex­panded to in­clude in­no­va­tive pro­jects across a spec­trum of artis­tic medi­ums. “I was part of a core group that didn’t know it was Cur­rents yet. My role on the board, in part, is to be a spokesper­son for artists to Frank [Ragano] and Mar­i­an­nah [Am­ster], to the ex­ec­u­tive direc­tors, and present the artist’s point of view when nec­es­sary.”

Far­rell has also been il­lus­trat­ing books for chil­dren. “I’m work­ing with a friend who’s part of Meow Wolf,” she said. “I’ve known her for a long time, and we’ve done two sto­ries. One is pub­lished, and one is in progress.” The pub­lished story is called

and is writ­ten by Jean Selig. There’s a de­light­ful com­po­nent to Far­rell’s two- and three-di­men­sional works and her Cur­rents in­stal­la­tions that make ex­pe­ri­enc­ing them fun. Her pro­jects have a con­cep­tual depth and seem to draw in­spi­ra­tion from a youth­ful view of the world. “That comes in from me al­low­ing things to hap­pen. It just un­folds in a play­ful man­ner, and I don’t usu­ally know where it’s go­ing to end up,” she said. “That to me is one of the most in­ter­est­ing things about do­ing art. If you al­ready know what you’re do­ing, you’re kind of bored when you’re do­ing it. I like to fol­low what leads me.”

— Michael Abatemarco

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