This series of large-scale, experimental monoprints was the culminating project of my Studio Art major at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME. In May 2014 it hung in a senior group exhibition at the college and was awarded the Judges Award by Jessica May, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, ME.
Click images for larger view, and see statement below
There is something satisfying to me about the dissolution of a face or a body–the visual movement from areas of precious detail into open spaces of breakdown and abstraction. Though I usually work with more traditional materials in a realist style, this experimental foray into monoprinting is expanding my definition of representation, opening me to the potential of visualizing the metaphysical part of a person’s being in relation to her corporeal self. My impulses to explode and extend the forms of the face and body seem to come from a urge to see what is beyond their bounds, to make visible and physical that part of a person’s being that is invisible energy or spiritual essence. These are images and processes of creation and destruction: precious ink portraits smear and burst as I add sugar and solvents, ceding my creative control to a play of chemistry and mechanics. Their delicate surfaces become pockmarked and physical: ineffable energies emerging spontaneously like bodies into the world.
As I have become aware of something very personal in these images and processes, I have wanted to use them to make pictures of myself and my grandmother. An artist herself, she has encouraged my creativity since childhood. We are of the same stuff, she and I. Behind faces of quiet serenity, we are uncontainable forces pushing out into space. We share experiences as women and as artists: some indistinct yearning to externalize something internal, some presence within and outside the bounds of our bodies. Here is my effort to to give rise to that thing that has seemed thus far unrepresentable for the both of us.