Clara DeGalan
My current studio practice engages objects and environments from my daily experience, traditional techniques of two dimensional image making from my teaching career, content from New Age literature, and pre-historic art to explore two developing bodies of work. "We are the Black Gold of the Mountain," is a body of work begun during a residency at Vermont Studio Center that reflects the impact of dwelling in a remote, mountainous landscape, embarking on a personal spiritual path, stumbling upon a full reproduction of the Book of Kells at the Studio Center's library, and a fascination with pre-historic lunar calendars, which measured time with vertical stacks of thirteen slash marks. "Garden/Teaching Notes" developed as an offshoot of "Black Gold." "Notes" takes a similar roster of symbols drawn from daily experience, New Age imagery, mundane fabrication materials, and pre-historic callendrics. All works include both collage of actual tape and feathers and illusionistic renderings of them. I find that tape is the best tool I possess to piece imagery from ancient history, meaningful souvenirs of my daily journey, modern landscapes, and decorative surface effects together- it stands in for language. Void spaces and transparent overlays evoke a sense of mystery, opening channels for reflection on the unseen in daily life. Highly developed technique is used to render imagery, content and theory that my training in undergraduate and graduate programs in the academic art world conditioned me to dismiss as excessively personal, lowbrow, and uncool. These bodies of work seek a balance between refined hand-skill and blunt marks, eternity and the present moment, and personal and universal paths to initiation.