Iana Quesnell, born and raised in Tampa, has been an artist all her life... except for those times she was a weather mapmaker for a Tampa TV station; a satellite communications technician in the U.S. Army; a horse-whisperer, groomer and barn manager at a foxhunting ranch in Reno; a maker of custom bronze doorknobs in Escondido; or a cashier at Trader Joe’s in Encinitas — one of three local jobs she held at once so she could keep on trucking, that is: keep the Dodge pickup she often called home in working order. Iana’s current work is about temporary living situations, specificity of place, as well as, navigation through the spaces she occupies and intends to occupy. Whether that be a military tent in Bosnia, her car, a studio on the border in Tijuana, or the Omni Hotel (for a week for this project), each incorporates architectural floor plans and schematic rendering with more experiential and ephemeral details.
A viewer is initially pulled in to the work by its beautiful draftsmanship and the surprise of its scale but it’s the conceptual underpinnings that seal the deal. She’s quite literally drafting her life and this odd combination of technical drawing and autobiography yields an unexpected and original narrative. Iana Quesnell engages drawing as a mediating tool between her own body and her immediate surroundings. Often painfully honest these exceptional, large scale drawings take into account her every move with excruciating detail.
Iana Quesnell, “Mission, Tuzla-Main Bosnia”, 2006, graphite on paper, 30x67"; “Parque Teniente Guerrero”, 2007, graphite on paper, 79x79”
Iana Quesnell, “Sofa, Floral, Tijuana”, 2006, graphite on paper, 120 X 42”