The paintings and collage contain varying degrees of abstraction and imagery. Layers of shapes and atmosphere evolve. Event occurs over event, like trajectories around a story.
A flat shape may have a cartoon like presence, or resemble a torn shard, a star shaped leaf or a sheet of ice with geometric spindles and voids from pebbles. There are patterns: stripes, dotted lines, Japanese insect and flower designs, wheels, the mottled chest of a thrush, engraved waves. It becomes necessary to paint a rock, or a bit of corrugated metal, a strand of yarn, a bird. And some of these initial responses become veiled or hidden beneath new passages.
One looks at the windowsill and curtain, at channels and bars in estuaries, stacked mountain ridges and rills, filigree in the compost, images in the daily paper. Observations, passages from literature or naturalist books, patterns, memories and literal scraps are components to build with. Remnants bring a history, but in new circumstances are also like restless words.
Nabokov wrote in Speak, Memory “…I do not believe in time. I like to fold my magic carpet…in such a way as to superimpose one part of the pattern upon another.” Looking for a place where attention shifts and refocuses. Images emerge and step back into the foil of shapes and colors.
And so forms assemble and stack; they fall over clefts, drift in swaths or heap up like cumulus with a propeller. Shapes pull together or push apart like opposed magnets, eventually a constellation in movement. The most unlikely things can fit inside making a piece: the quotidian and unusual; grief and buoyancy, climate change and new leaves generating glucose that literally powers our thoughts.
Of fast receding glacial ice Gretel Erich wrote, “A glacier is an archivist and historian. It registers every fluctuation of weather. It saves everything no matter how small or big, including pollen dust, heavy metals, bugs and minerals.. What (we need) is an open exchange in which sentience shapes the eye and mind and results in ever-deepening empathy..what Ralph Waldo Emerson called “strange sympathies” with otherness..”
That sounds about right.