Monday, February 15, 2010

Uninvited We Stand. watercolor on canvas, 52x60inches, 2010
Our Lady Highlife watercolor on canvas, 26x94inches, 2009
Tattered Cordage watercolor on canvas, 11x71inches, 2009
Longing Lucy 5 watercolor on paper, 18x24inches, 2009
The image of a vessel, such as a warship, possesses a sense of longing for the unknown. Growing up a Navy brat on military bases, passing ships and planes were routine, though I can’t tell you what type they were or what purpose they served. All I can say is that to be in their presence is a reminder that we are all small in the grand scheme of things. My uniformed parents became idols. These militaristic figures along with enchanted fairytale characters were who I looked up to and aspired to embody in some opposing concoction.
Opposition plays a key role throughout my work. The natural landscape of the tropics in contrast to the fabricated, industrial aesthetic of the military is where most of my imagery and content originate. Also integral is the contrast of my personal experience with the military and its global involvement.
Watercolor paint is my primary media for its obvious relation to aqueous imagery and fluid tendency. The constants throughout my work are personal symbolism and a polished level of technical skill. I achieve this fluidity through video and mixed media installation and periodically work in these medias.
My work is undoubtedly romantic. This is not to say I haven’t recognized the negative connotations of militaristic imagery since my adolescence. In terms of pure aesthetics, I find the forms and silhouettes of ships, tanks, planes, fortresses, etc., just as striking as the scenery surrounding them. In my paintings this is reflected in that all elements are treated as integral parts of one landscape.
The color palette, composition, and subject matter of war propaganda, esp. WWII American posters, are of great influence. The weaponry in my paintings signifies the fight for the greater good, and the proud figure signifies the fight for the individual. Within the work I also quietly address that it is backwards and outdated to attempt to achieve freedom through force. By coalescing a warship with the landscape, or depicting a proud sailor-siren hybrid that has let down her hair, I’m subtly paying tribute to these causes from an unbiased viewpoint.
Overall, the work is about the overwhelming sense of longing for a New World, and the silent haunting of the Old. My work isn’t an attempt at creating or recreating these worlds. It is an attempt to be the guide and to create the vessel to get there.

1 comment:

leilalatex said...

Manda, I love these! I appreciate what I assume was your artist statement as well. The compositions are so intense and simultaneously soft. Beautiful.