Posts tagged Spiritual
Inner Worlds: Interview with Tanner Mothershead
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Tanner Mothershead is a midwestern born artist. He attended undergraduate school at the Northwest Missouri State University before going on to attain his MFA at the University of Iowa with an emphasis in ceramics and minors in painting and sculpture. He has exhibited work at NCECA and published in New American Paintings

A driving force in the creation of his work is a desire to make sense of both people and place. The work stems from a fascination with the human mind's ability to interpret, transform, and create the world around it. Much of the work formed acts as an apparatus for viewing and experiencing a conceptualized inner world in relationship to tangible reality.  His research delves into the functions and meanings of symbolism, spatial relations, and degrees of abstraction. Elements of Jungian psychology, philosophy, and architecture are woven together in these biomorphic surreal narratives.  

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Briefly tell us about your current work.

My current work focuses on the relationship between physical and perceived reality, with an emphasis on the inner worlds people create either for idle pleasure or to escape traumatic experiences. Everyday in the news we hear about mass shootings and are bombarded with senseless acts of violence. I think about events that have happened to the people closest to me as well as a deeply traumatic event in my own life, the dots and lines of happenings and how they connect. The work I make becomes objects of connection. They appear outwardly as fun fantasy worlds with bright color, enticing one to look deeper. Neon doors, steps, and pathways act in contrast to darker, more sinister, elements buried further in.

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At first glance your work looks very material based. Can you give us some insight about your use of materials?

I suspend layers of paint and other materials in transparent resin in order to form sculptural paintings. This drive stems from my compulsive desire to give physical form and depth to these imagined spaces; I wish to make more concrete the fact that the mental landscape is just as real as the one we all share. They take the shape of geoded doorways or shards, reminiscent of transitional spaces, as well as how our perceptions of reality build up over time and pressure. Most recently I have begun making them in the form of the midbrain and visual cortexes, the parts of human anatomy linking the eye to the brain. They remain as fragmentary images of places alien to outsiders and have a shallow, ghostly, topographical map stamped on its surface.

Spiritually, I work to embody elements from two notable psychotherapists, who also dabbled in creative practice: Carl Jung, who was a leading pioneer in the understanding of the inner human, and Herman Rorschach, who utilized a delicate balance of pure abstraction to that of recognizable objectivity.

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Who in the art community inspires you?

Currently the artists I have found inspiring, and thoroughly enjoyed following their practice, have been Lauren Clay, Michael Reeder, Alex Eckman-Lawn, and Donté K. Hayes.

Wenyan Xu
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Wenyan Xu began her career in art almost twenty years ago as a BFA student studying in the Academy of Art & Design, Tsinghua University, a top art college in China. In order to further understand contemporary art, she journeyed across continents to study art in the United States. Having completed her M.A. in the Art and Visual Culture Education Program at the University of Arizona, she focused on her artistic process and production. Through the M.F.A. painting program at Indiana University in Bloomington, she is fulfilling her artistic dream. Her paintings had been shown nationally and internationally, including at the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), China; the Verum Ultimum Art Gallery, Portland, OR, U.S.A; and the M.A.D Gallery, Milan, Italy.

Statement

My current body of work is about space-time and emotion. Through my painting, I invite viewers to experience a journey from space to time, to engage in the interweaving of emotion and reality, and to be aware of spiritual energy versus the limits of daily life.

Space-time is a physics concept, which describes the universe with the three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time. We usually think that we are not able to live beyond space-time and are only subject to reality, yet never realized that our emotions can change the track that we go through. The human emotion is historical, interrelated, spontaneous, unarticulated and passionate in my painting. Emotion, as an innermost power of human, has been spreading the energy throughout human history and contributing to our civilization. How much do we give credit to this internal motivation? Instead, knowledge, skills, and intelligence are regarded as main drivers for the development of society. In my opinion, knowledge, skills, and intelligence can only build a world in three dimensions. Their product can last and add up throughout the length of time but cannot exceed it. However, emotion can go beyond space and time. It can outreach the world of four dimensions, target a location in the chaos of four-dimensional space, and then build a time tunnel, which you had not anticipated but would go later on in your life. Therefore, emotion has a different dimension with reality in my work. It also has potential energy to change reality, the world in three dimensions.

The reality is abrupt and rational, devoting itself to breaking down and rebuilding our emotions. I abstract marks and symbols from daily life to display a sober and unordered present. They represent rules and laws unassociated with personal emotions.

www.wenyanxu.org

Elise Wehle

My process revolves around the time-intensive act of cutting intricate patterns using a utility knife. Moving my hands in the repetitive movements required by my work transforms my art practice into a meditative experience.

The themes of my art are centered on my attempts to connect my physical surroundings with the rich, complicated, internal and spiritual environment experienced within. The cut-out pattern interferes with the representational imagery, obstructing the seen with the unseen. No matter how many paper layers intersect with the representational image of the photograph, the cut outs ultimately act as negative space, forming lines and shapes out of nothing. Despite the patterns’ clearly defined edges, they are actually invisible, like the experiences they represent.

www.elisewehle.com