Mixed Media, 37"L x 29"W x 9"H
© 2018 Sarah Curtis, All Rights Reserved
I am interested in materials and textures. I have great enthusiasm for using a variety of crafts, found objects, and re-using items from the home (a habit I learned from my mother). I am obsessed with the idea of how to integrate craft media into my paintings. This dilemma led me to a rock in the road where I wanted to escape the typical rectangular canvas and create shaped surfaces that become the boundaries through which my design is defined rather than have the canvas confine my ideas.
I like the idea that my work plays with the boundaries of 2D & 3D space. I choose to work with industrial materials such as insulation and spray foam because I find they can hold their shape and are light weight in comparison to wood. Insulation is a challenge to use because it likes to be handled a certain way and rejects most glues. My persistence to learn to work with and shape this material led me to these works. The focus of my senior show is the process itself. I have chosen to use many gels and textures to treat the surface of the shapes. When I apply these textures whether with gels, sanding, or paint -I try to intentionally leave evidence of the process. I want the forms to have a sense of energy which is visible in the high peaks, bumps left on the forms, and the dragging of oils pastels over the surface showing the process of their creation.
In my artwork, there is no one answer to what these shapes may or may not be. The content comes from the forms I create. My series is meant to be non-representational, but could be seen as having a feminist subtext because of the use of craft media and bricolage within the series. It wasn't until I was deeply involved in my process, that I did some soul searching and realized on an unconscious level I have chosen materials and objects that are connected with times in my life that I considered joyful. This is relevant to my work because my intent is for my series to be high-spirited. I want viewers to investigate which materials and techniques I may use to get the end results. I would also like to help widen the view of the average person as to what can be considered art materials (starting with the fine folks who work at Home Depot who like to tell me I'm in the wrong store and should go to Michaels).
Emerge is my vision of an uplifting series using large scale non-representational works. I want these paintings to grab the viewer's attention and stop them in their tracks. I want the materials, the textures, and the applied energy to each shape to be evident to the viewer. I like the idea that there can be an open-ended interpretation to the pieces and that I am not prescribing a narrative. These works are all hung as paintings, but visually play with 2D and 3D space. Each one borders the line between painting and sculpture. This series reflects my journey with mixed media and how far I have come up to this current moment.