TRACING THE ORIGIN SERIES
Primal Forms - Seed Green Red, 2018
Ash, green earth and devon mud on burlap
29 x 31 inches
By Rachel Garrard
Quietude - Group Show
GUILD HALL GALLERY
September 11 to November 9, 2019
Curated by Evelyn Tapani-Rosenthal.
As a visual artist engaged primarily in painting, I aim to create works that reflect inner and outer journeys, seeking through abstraction a means of communicating sublime experience. Using pigments derived from natural materials collected during my travels, I make paintings whose geometric forms reflect my own explorations of the dynamic interplay between opposing forces: creation and destruction, light and darkness, form and void.
My practice begins contemplatively: each new works starts out as a kind of essence or trace that I have to follow, developing over months or even years into a fully formed image. Many of the images are also mapped according to the geometric proportions of my body, such that the resulting works are at once abstract and intensely personal.
In a recent series of paintings, I have employed geometric forms proportional relations to create a sense of dynamic equilibrium. I express energy and rhythm through the specific meetings of points and the spaces between, while creating balance through the harmony of color, form and line. The sources of the pigments include ash from a "temascal" ritual in Central America as well as powdered quartz and colored rocks from my treks throughout the Andes mountain range. Although the pigments have an earthly quality, my inspiration comes from the ephemeral and unseen: I see abstract art as a way to speak in a language that transcends the material form. The interlocking compositions incorporate structures that imply pure or timeless forms, while the color and materiality evoke an embodied visual experience: a transient exchange between the subjectivity of personal experience and the eternal. The paintings can thus serve as maps or guides to inner realities and possibilities that connect to the universal.
While the contemplative aspect of my practice resonates with traditions like alchemy, Tantra, and Tibetan yantra, as an artist I am inspired especially by schools of abstract art like Suprematism, Group Zero, and the works of Ana Mendieta, Mark Rothko and Agnes Martin.
Over the last decade, I have experimented with a variety of media to materialize and communicate my artistic inspirations, including light sculpture, holography, and performance art. But during recent years my practice has developed into a more focused engagement with abstract painting, while also drawing inspiration from travels to indigenous cultures and exploring the ecological dimension of pigment as transformed earth.
ARTIST RECEPTION - Saturday, Sept 14, 2019 1 - 3pm
Exhibit is open during museum hours:
Wednesday - Saturday, 12 to 4pm