This series casts a different light on the idea of place, land and its artifacts; introducing the dichotomy of the visual landscape and places charged with memory and meaning, their hidden artifacts and energy. I am interested in incorporating ancient things, ideas, and technology: geology, astronomy, archeology, ecological events and life forms, and connecting them with our own contemporary technology. The work invites confusion on several levels, and meaning is generated in the process of sorting things out. On the most obvious level, we expect a landscape to be a picture of the land, which may or may not incorporate these issues. We assume that the artist observed a place, an event in the world and wanted to record it. . . . However, with my work in this series, these images are really not of anything in that sense; they register only the result of studying about a landscape and all that “place” entails. They register only that which becomes housed in my mind, incorporating the answers or questions that a place may prompt and my responses to it.
When a place or idea intrigues me, I begin by learning as much about it is as possible through research and study, as well as site visits while photographing, sketching and observing. I have to empty my mind of the present, to disconnect from everyday matters to the point where I can become connected with the energy around me… allowing me to become fascinated with simple observations. Conversely, my studio experience is quite different. At times I don’t “plan” the creation of the actual work in advance; I just let it happen—sometimes waiting, sometimes engaging in making the art and seeing what happens.
The evolution of this body of work began as a response to “place,” and an experimental exploration of contemporary drawing through painting, color and line. Through working with mixed media such as plaster, spackling, graphite, various types of paint, waxes, and exploring the process, I became fascinated with the simple act of mark-making that began to dominate the work, as it moved into a more neutral pallet. Surprisingly, these very primitive yet modern marks prompted more questions than answers. ■
STARS FELL ON ALABAMA: mixed media diptych , 16″x 28″