At the center of the busy complex on 18th Street that is owned by David Ford, there is a narrow room, hidden from sun and passers by. Peregrine Honig prefers the lack of sunlight—and the isolation—because it is in this room apart that she can work unencumbered. “I want to lose a sense of time and space”, she said. For her, natural light only invites temptations to be elsewhere. One such place, Birdies (the “intimate apparel apothecary” that she owns and operates), is just yards away.
Honig’s studio is a menagerie of intimate objects. Substituting for the sun—not in brightness, but in grandeur—a large antique chandelier hangs at the center. It’s fractured, uneven, and twinkling light serves as a tonal maypole for the individual objects and scenes it lights with its branches. Her antique desk (turned drawing table), the clawfoot tub and metal-top cabinets, a rack of clothes, bird cage models (sketches for what would eventually become golf-cart chariots in the Nelson-Atkins Museum’s corridors), various manequin forms—and the drawings themselves—all speak of time in a way that eludes language. Not nostalgia, but wonder (and in the case of her encapsulated twin fawns, the uncanny). Not a specific time, but time itself.