Bonnafont Gallery Sign, Photo by Jill Flanders CrosbyConnecting

This show at the Bonnafont Gallery in San Francisco, featured the Illuminated Manuscripts for Secrets Under the Skin by Susan Matthews.  The show was curated by Slobadan Dan Paich, artistic director of  Artship. Paich could see in Matthews’ work the connections across the waters between Ghana and Cuba and see the “lived ideas across time.” Working with these themes, he installed Matthews’ manuscripts inside large grommeted cellophane envelopes, hung from the high ceilings by black braided cord studded with beads and sea shells to commemorate the tides of the crossings.  Paich has studied ancient manuscripts in libraries around the world.  He noted that manuscripts are preserved inside cellophane, which is not plastic, but is made from plant fibers and is archival.
Although the month-long show featured Matthews’ work, an afternoon was devoted to screening each of Jill Flanders Crosby’s Performance-Based Videos. Both Matthews and Flanders Crosby presented lectures concerning the project.

People at Bonnafont, Photo by Annette Acosta

What is Artship?

Artship is a small cultural and educational not for profit organization, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, but with an international focus, established in 1991. Artship has four programs: theater productions, mounting exhibitions, a scholarly research program and  International Crossroads Initiative.

Artship's mission is to "offer broad access to the transforming powers of the creative process and to present new opportunities for breakthrough thinking and creative work."

Artship, its founder Slobodan Dan Paich and collaborative teams work daily in creating works for theater, curating exhibitions and presenting scholarly papers internationally on the history of art and ideas, topics ranging from globalization and the urban poor to prehistoric temples, polyphonic singing, the transmigration of ideas and ritual dances. The scholarship is informed by living practice, and the theatre productions, exhibitions and exchanges are inspired by “lived ideas across time.”

The dynamic combination of research, art practice, performance and community initiative are always at the core of Artship’s work, - website:


* Banner image photographed by Susan Matthews