Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kathy O'Leary - NorthWest Artist Profile

Artist's Statement

I’m an interactive multidisciplinary visual artist with a disability, working in mediums such as paint, charcoal, paper, print, film, photography and Photoshop. My studio-based work reflects how I collect and collate imagery using many different mediums. I use different subject matters from found objects in nature i.e. shells on a beach, to creating paper sculptures with form and linear in mind and also making drawings, paintings to then editing these in Photoshop.

My intention is to create layers upon layers and build up imagery throughout this way of working. These become abstract, often sculptural, 2D images once edited in Photoshop.

skin tones series 3 lambda digital print 594x841cm

'spacial 2' oil painting

These layers help me to conceptualize the idea that life is based upon many layers, each layer is made throughout different stages of the process.

Sculptural layers, lambda digital print

This makes the process of each layer very important to the final piece of work and also generates each piece of work as equally unique.

Compositional Lambda digital print 841x594cm

I have chosen to create digital images because they can be layered in a way that reflects the layers of changing culture, society, history, geology and politics. I build layers that intermingle creating a subtext for those layers of life. Like life, you never know what will happen next and that is how I use whatever medium I’m working with. And so is life, seeming to be linear in content but obviously more cyclical, alternating, flowing, and random.

Shell Galore Lambda digital print 841x594cm

I never know how these pieces will be resolved or what the end-product will be since they are not planned. This compels me to put myself in an explorative mode, employing the abstract space to create a pliable structure for intuition, improvisation and chance. Connecting paper fragments together through collage, drawing in delicate, intricately marked layers and detailed symbols, printing and cutting paper have become my methods for navigating the blurry terrain of memory and imagination. I often find myself teetering on the brink of what is too much and what is not quite enough. I think about tracing and retracing paths, and how doing that makes them known and familiar. I think about how things layer and get all tangled up. Spending time constructing the small parts that accumulate to create a large work, I find a meditative possibility in working with my hands, creating a closeness and “depth of value” for me. Painting through staining, seepage, and absorption becomes a metaphor for the fluidity of remembering, mimicking the geologic layers that constitute memories. Mapping serves as a metaphor for searching, an implication of the unknown in wide, open spaces, and a trace of how we see where we've been.

Shell Galore Lambda digital print 841x594cm

Ode to Grandmother lambda digital print 594x841cm

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