Wednesday 7 January 2015

A Chip on Her Shoulder

Chip on Her Shoulder
(see description below)

            My artistic choices are these: I have long mined my own life experience to extract the thematic raw material that defines it.  I use this self-referential method because I explore ‘the human condition’ as a kind of visual storyteller. I work figuratively and representationally, and I use symbol and metaphor in a literary sense.
My work is born of my strong sense irony; it grows out of my observation of the conflicts, contradictions and absurdities that complicate even the most ordinary lives. Yet, I hope through my technique and my commitment to my media and to my subjects to reflect my deep respect for the fact that despite our limitations of body and mind, we keep working at trying to figure it all out.
Because I think and remember best in images, and because I have a vivid and associative visual imagination, I wish simply to engage in the practice of image making and the conversation about it that began with the first mark made by the first human hand to wield a tool expressively. My brain is large enough to accommodate a huge variety of imagery and ideas at once, albeit sometimes chaotically, which for an artist is a good thing, I’ve discovered. I suspect this is because the inner vision on which I as an artist focus is perhaps more perceptive than the outer. What my mind’s eye (or my third eye) ‘sees’ is not just what my physical eyes see, but is the result of all my senses, plus memory, the intellect and the imagination ‘seeing’ in concert.
Using imaging and creation techniques I learned during my dance, creative writing and theater studies and practices, which subsequently merged in my visual arts practice, I create imagery that blurs the boundary between inner, or subconscious, and outer, or conscious realities. It is also influenced by the many cultures of which I am a product, and the experience of being an immigrant or an outsider many times over. My work has at different times been called ‘magic realism’, ‘psychological narrative’ or ‘conceptual representation’. Whatever else it is, it is clay, pencil, paint and a lot of time in the studio.

Chip on Her Shoulder
Talc body clay, underglazes, glazes
Self portrait with ‘the’ Winged Venus (Winged Victory of Samothrace) from the Louvre collection.

It is my observation that art history is the ever-present companion to a serious, if at times harassed, artistic practice.

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