Louise Eastman | Opening Moves



Louise Eastman | Opening Moves
May 21-June 26, 2021


I have spent this past year working in a borrowed, abandoned red house next door. My time in lockdown became a residency. Before the pandemic, I’d begun to think about games of chance, dice, luck. With so much time to think, I started going over my history, memories from my grandfather’s porch of him playing backgammon with my brother. They could see the probability logic, calculate the rolls, trust the gambling. There are coveted rolls, double 6’s, accompanied by cheers. Double ones, snake eyes, and dice can symbolize bad luck but usually get a wahoo in backgammon. My favorite role is 3:1—that is the only obvious move that I know; all the following actions are predicated by the desire to move around the board, make points, try not to be exposed, and get knocked out. You attack any open checker, knock it out, block, block, and finally get as many checkers off the board, with the game continually being called for the apparent winner but never actually ending.

Parameters evolved into a visual language: 24 triangles, alternating blue and green, 12 in each separate rectangle. Thirty checkers, 15 yellow, 15 black, four dice, 36 possible rolls. The materials: textiles, clay, and paper. The process: hand building, sewing, and printing

I find peace in this haptic place, of the intersection between touch and the mind. I gamble with the shape of shapes. Find comfort in the predictability of color. Freedom in wonky geometry. Possibilities, the anxiety of anticipation, trust in chance and process, and the probability needed to prod it to go my way, that all will work out.


Louise Eastman is an artist living and working in Brooklyn and Sag Harbor, NY. She focuses on weaving and ceramics. Eastman received her MFA from Pratt Institute, NY, and has recently shown at Silas Marder Gallery, Planthouse Gallery, and Russell Janis Gallery. She’s a member of the Victory Garden Collective, founded in 2016. Previously, she received a MacDowell Colony Fellowship.


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