March 4 – March 30, 2011
Various Works by Artists: Sarina Fuhrmann, Elizabeth Holden, Suzanne Perez, John Alexander Taylor.
Contemplate: to view or consider with continued attention.
Memory: the time within which past events are remembered.
It starts with an instinctive reaction to visual images, turning the unconscious
It is a physical, hands on investigation of process and materials.
It is a visual recording, an impression of images, objects and memories. It is leaving the memory of old images and the history of surface.
It is the visceral nature of the stone and plate. It is simplicity and complexity.
It is obsessive and compulsive.
It is place, memory, identity and faith.
--Elizabeth A. Holden
In my work I search for identity and connection through past memories, experiences, space and place. The place that inspires my work, is my childhood home situated in the rural north Texas area. These landscapes, whether cultivated or in their natural state evoke a sense of serenity, peace and nostalgia.
A few years ago, my sister embraced her calling to the cloistered religious life. Our limited interaction with one another has created a surge of reminiscing about our childhood and past memories. These experiences are referenced not only through the landscapes but childhood objects familiar to both of us. Monastic architectural elements represent physical, spiritual and emotional connections that occur both within and outside of time and place. These layered images are memories intertwined between past and present. These images are my memoir, my sanctuary and my home.
Time, memory, place, these are things that have always fascinated me. Most tend to romanticize these themes, I am no less guilty. My landscapes are an amalgamation of not only these themes but also the idea that these are constructs. I have created them, either accurately or not, to re-present to the viewer an actual place or one that exists only in my mind, my memory. They could be described as both real and unreal, something like a translation in between or remembrances.
Each image is also meant to express the universality of the landscape, its familiarity and its implied characteristics. The tradition of landscape painting tends to amplify its grandiose or sublime aspects, often on an exceptionally large scale. In contrast, some of these works are designed to acknowledge its sublimity but on a small scale. Functioning as a reversal, the size of each work is in stark contrast to the viewer. By choosing to depict landscapes on a small scale, the viewer’s presuppositions are challenged as well. One such presupposition is the implied infinite space that accompanies landscape paintings. Another expectation is verisimilitude. Here too, the works, due to their characteristics and altered surfaces, pose a question to the viewer. What do you really see?
We, as visual creatures, become accustomed to the horizon, to the landscape. We have perhaps become too acquainted with it and find it boring, redundant, or even mundane. However, due to its ever-changing nature, the landscape cannot be anything but visually stimulating. It offers one a respite. The landscape is eternally in an altered state at every moment and this exceptional state of fluidity captures my imagination.
-- Suzanne Perez
The images I choose for my body of work creates a visual journal of places I have been. I searched for images off North Texas highways. Within my many searches, the common denominator is that the power lines were always the catalyst. The power lines guide me to wonderful power stations and industrial parts of the cities. Through the images of power lines and unique industrial sites I collected, I chose to show the viewer my journey as they walk along the highly-contrasted black and white mural following the long hall. The mural begins with a power station and ends with constructs that I created or found, while the common element throughout is the power line. I selected certain images because of their unique designs and the ability to change in a high contract black and white, which work well with the negative space of the wall and the positive nature of black vinyl. I was initially drawn to vinyl because of its industrial and commercial feel. Through discovery, I began flattening 3-D objects through the use of vinyl. However, I began placing the vinyl on acrylic and, with the help of lighting and sand blasting, re-establishing a look of a third dimension. By using the shadow the works started to have a sense of depth and a feel of a third dimension, but at the same time remained very flat. I focused on this play with dimension because I enjoy that my art changes based on the different times of the day, whether the work is exposed to the sunlight or controlled in a gallery setting.
The different sizes of my work are important as a test to myself. I feel very comfortable working in large spaces and making large works. I used the smaller framed pieces as exercises to test the shadows, and to learn how to use the elements of vinyl in different ways. I found the smaller scale to be difficult but at the same time very rewarding.
-- John Alexander Taylor