Dystopolises and other landscapes: recent work
Topographies, texture and earth seen from above are the themes I return to often for inspiration. There is also a micro-macro aspect to these surfaces: we may be viewing the surface of the earth through a microscope or a telescope. "Dystopolis" is a made up word which refers to a possibly future, possibly post-human earth. It refers to our alteration of the earth with our projects and buildings and effect on the environment.
The focus of these works is materiality, texture, process and experimentation. What is important is the physicality of the work without reference to imaginary space. The immediacy of the texture pushes the paintings into the same tactile space and time we inhabit. I come from a sculpture background so that informs the object quality of these paintings.
This work is in the space between painting and sculpture and is characterized by textured, layered, curved or torn paper. There are three bodies of work that sometimes overlap: collage on the standard rectangle, collaged paper in unusual shapes and three dimensional collage. The texture in my work is built with different materials including acrylic paint - often along with various textured gel mediums, layers of paper including textured paper, Japanese, Indian and African papers, corrugated cardboard, paper mache, sand and other materials. The final result is process-driven through my response to materials as they are used. Imperfection, abjectness and roughness coinciding with beauty and a kind of humble elegance are my main goals. Of importance is the physicality of the work without reference to illusory space. Nature is my biggest source of inspiration for shape, color and texture.
My exploration with mixed media is driven by a need to create works without illusory space, and is focused on materiality, texture, process and experimentation. Some of my materials are vintage fabric scraps, saved or found "trash", burlap, plastic, foam, paper, twine and twigs. My materials and formal choices are intuitive and very much dependent on the process as it develops in their creation. I apply chance processes in my work, preferring to not dictate the shapes of collage materials myself, but to use things as I find them for the most part. This work is often layered, stuffed, quilted or wrapped with left over canvas and other fabric scraps allowing some results to exist in between classically defined categories of sculpture and painting.
My oil paintings employ an additive and subtractive painting technique that create layered “maps,” which can be read across the uppermost surface or down through the painting’s layers, often seen through the wiped off parts of each layer for the pathways. I like to think of these layers as the co-mingling of the past and the present in our experience of life. The subtractive wiped areas and the transparent areas, which simultaneously reveal and conceal previous layers, expose the past. The solid and transparent areas and lines which block previous layers and assert the most recent activity are the present. This is the way we live our lives - with past experiences illuminating the present and the present experiences reinterpreting the past.
My body of work, Terradaptions is based on the graphic qualities of aerial photos of earth. Derived from satellite views of mostly urban and industrial areas, these images were computer manipulated as sketches to work from and then further cultivated with paint on canvas. Employing transparent layers, blurring and invented occurrences, Terradaptions create dreamlike geographies. The finished paintings can be interpreted on a metaphorical level --as a snapshot revealing an area's psychological or oneiric state at a particular moment.