Once again I’ve found myself returning to the investigation of identity and search for a sense of place. The work for my upcoming exhibition, Charting A Course, explores ways of navigating chaotic and unknown changes or situations and what these moments reveal about who we are and what we want.
I’ve been inspired and influenced by a number of things, primarily images of deep space, the particular way in which the sun sets in the mountains where I live, and images of major disasters like volcanic and nuclear explosions and the recent oil spill in the Gulf. All of these visual ideas have begun to merge into odd amalgamations in my mind and these visions are what I’ve been dealing with in my most recent body of work.
I am most interested in the ways in which the my own individual process of creating these works mirrors the concepts I’ve been struggling with. I’m excited by the unpredictable nature of water, paint, and ink and how these materials can be manipulated on a surface. While never quite “controlled,” the application of media is its own exercise in orchestrating chaos. Pivotal points of intersection become micro/macrocosms of spontaneous interaction – moments which define each piece.
Over these vision-scapes flocks of birds fly toward unknown destinations. Some birds are larger, clearer, and more articulate, while others are so remote they become merely dots and shapes. Many of these flocks are laid out in patterns which intentionally and exactly mimic the position of stars, creating their own cosmic map as they journey onward. Other patterns simply reflect natural groupings personally captured through field photography.
While most of these works remain as simple interchanges between ground and image, other works have branched off to further examine the synergistic relationships of color, line, shape and texture that I discover during my studio process.
In the same way that I continue to deal with concepts like identity and place, I have found that I continue to revisit certain visual devices in new and different ways. My love of grids and sectioning, largely seen in my MA thesis work, has become more prominent in this group of work the more I develop the new visual vocabulary of this particular dialog.
Over the past three years I’ve tried to remove myself from my previous work, however it’s become alarmingly (and refreshingly) apparent in the past half a year that I cannot escape myself or ever really re-invent my work completely. Perhaps the freedom of graduating has subconsciously allowed me to give myself permission to do this – to abandon myself more fully to my art and my aesthetic – despite many attempts to do so over the years (which were almost always unsuccessfully).
But then, I am who I am and there will always be some degree of struggle for control, some hesitancy or doubt about what I’m responding to, and copious amounts of unanswered questions just beneath the surface. These things are not necessarily the road blocks I once thought they were, rather – they are simply part of what makes my work what it is – a component that is often reflected whether or not I intend it to be… and this is okay.