My thesis work began through the study of water flow and a series of questions. One of the driving questions and most interesting to me is, “How can we, as artists pull inspiration from the environment when it has been forever contaminated? ” I know, kind of a depressing question. I don’t want it to be, it should be something acknowledge-able, and figured out. It’s a fact, reality—not a preachy statement. What I’ve struggled with is the destruction of the environment and how can I represent that in my work without being negative, preachy, etc. . .
How can patterns and systems be inspirational when they have been so contaminated? Lately, I think about my work as contamination. When I work I tend to get really messy. I’m contaminating the wall, paper, etc. . . I’m not interested in keeping the paper clean and prestigious, I want it to get messy and imperfect. If it touches the floor it is, okay. I even think about the line forms that I continue to use as a form of contamination. The black marks feel like contamination at times. Especially in the work I’ve made over the past year. The work I have been making has meditative aspects, however, it is not the type of meditative work I made before coming to grad school.
I want to acknowledge the fragility of nature because it is relatable to others in one way or another. Whether they care deeply about the subject or if they care at all, is up to the viewer but it’s relevant because it’s the world we live in, contribute to and overlook everyday.
I’m interested in presenting something strange and somewhat alluring to the viewer. By mimicking forms and patterns in natural and manmade systems, I’m trying to give these systems the voice they deserve and present something that will engage the viewer and perhaps leave them with a sense of curiosity and wonder. Much of my research has focused on water systems (particularly the Scioto River), pollutants, and fractal patterns that occur in nature. I have a passion for the environment and figuring out how I can present scientific data/research in such a way that transfers these ideas in a more poetic manner has been on my mind.
My final presentation of work will be determined in the early weeks of next semester, that is when I will focus in to finish these pieces. Until then I am continuing to make a body of work that I can select from. This semester has been about figuring out the medium and methods of how I want to express my ideas and figuring out which methods are more effective.
I am searching for the answer to the question asked at the beginning of this post. However, I am not sure if there is an answer. I believe examining this questions unlocks a door, and is a way to open up conversation.