Today I had to take a little time out to prepare an artist’s statement and resume for a show I’m a part of in December. It will be at Eureka, CA’s First Street Gallery, the “Giant Squid Exhibition”…we printmakers just love our ink. I had never actually written an artist’s statement before, my university art curriculum was not particularly rigorous, so with a lot of time and a little guidance from fellow artists Megan Moore and Blake McAdow this is what I came up with:
What is the role of nature in an increasingly regimented society? My current work explores the way biological phenomena such as competition, consumption, growth, and renewal manifest on personal and systemic levels within our industrialized nation.
Printmaking is a process which allows me to marry mechanized production with organic formal elements, questioning the way contemporary American society rejects the lack of predictability found in nature in favor of uniform standards of performance. In my serigraphs, I bring nature into a highly uniform, reproducible medium by using hand-cut stencils and painted representation of organic forms such as fibrin and birds. Collagraph is an imprecise process in itself, which produces a more painterly effect and introduces an additional natural element of entropy into the work as plates destroy themselves in the course of printing. The conflict created by using nature as a standardized part is central to my work.
The collagraphs I created in 2012 draw from the natural abundance of my new home: included on the plates used to print them are hundreds of new leaves I collected from local trees and pressed during spring, and the tree forms are from sketches made during my wanderings in Chico. As this agricultural community renewed itself so did my work, introducing new themes and brighter colors than those that characterized my earlier work in Humboldt County.
What do you think? Is it too packed with artist-speak, or does it make you want to see the work I’m referring to? Let me know in the comments.