Things that represent the literal aspects of sustenance are merged with everyday objects to create works that become representative of our need for the more metaphorical sustenance provided by our material world.
I have been drawing, painting and making things since I was a child. My earliest and happiest memories involve looking at or making art. I love being an artist, bringing order out of chaos. The studio is a sacred space where color and line flow together becoming visible pointers to something far greater than myself. The alchemy of art making is the most compelling of mysteries. I show up, pick up my tools, and let my mind wander. Time disappears; sounds diminish; one move leads to another and another –and on a good day, transformation happens: mute canvas, paint and paper are given meanings that stir conversation, argument, emotions, ultimately giving voice to ideas words cannot express. If my work brings viewers joy and hope, I’ve achieved my goal.
Throughout Deborah Curtiss’ career as a painter, she has endeavored to give a visual voice to a variety of realities that are beyond the obvious and dwell in an elusive, ineffable realm:
- Visual form as metaphors for the complexities of life, inner and other realities of being human, and our place on planet Earth.
- Homage to the history of Western art as influenced by Eastern art and consciousness.
Inspired by the richness of nature, the built environment, the human figure, and the impulse to create, Deborah is enticed to express and represent her feelings and perceptions which can not be articulated any other way.
Phil Eidenberg-Noppe is a Seattle-based photographer specializing in cultural documentary and abstract “impressionist” photography. He shoots with available light on-site at locations ranging from urban barbershops to remote elk fields. Having been an environmental scientist for close to 30 years (a hydrologist focusing on rivers and streams), he thrives on in-depth investigation and strives to convey the details and nuance of what is going on below the surface.
Using a camera capable of producing images with vast amounts of visual information, he further explores images during the “digital darkroom” phase, bringing out the visual aspects that best depict the feeling and intention behind the project. He produces photographic prints on an archival pigment printer and enjoys framing and mounting his work to present cohesive statements to a range of audiences.
“To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand, and eternity in an hour… ” – William Blake: “Auguries of Innocence”
“…Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. That’s how the light gets in. That’s how the light gets in…” – Leonard Cohen: “Anthem”
How we view life is grounded in our identity – the stories we tell ourselves, which then affects how we live. Identity in turn is a function of history, environment, time and place. I’m interested in how this is expressed in the diversity of thought, expression and interaction of world cultures, particularly those that are present locally. Exploring and manifesting this provides meaning for my work.
I experienced loss at an early age, so I retain an awareness of the transitory nature of life, and that what we perceive as concrete certainty in any one place, person and thing may be different if viewed through a different lens.
My photography ranges from documentary to “impressionist”, with imagery often starting in one place and ending in the other. I see the camera as a tool, sometimes like a paintbrush, sometimes like a tape recorder. I use techniques such as intentional camera movement and “storyboarding” of multiple images as alternative approaches to express emotion and storyline through photography.
Having spent the majority of my life working as an environmental scientist (a hydrologist) informs my work in that I continue to follow a process of observation/intuiting, gathering, synthesis, and sharing through presentation and communication. I believe that there is science in art and art in science. I also believe that traveling both paths simultaneously can lead to greater discovery, insight, and the ultimate goal of transcendence.
The protagonists in Sean’s recent works are any of the five pacific salmon species once they have returned to their natal streams. Having spawned, their bodies decompose at the whim of the elements, changing form continually as they wash away; opening to the world and passing the oceans nutrients on to the forest. Sean celebrates this portion of the salmon’s life cycle through works focusing on the point where the struggle to maintain the boundary between inside and outside has given way to a world where flesh mingles with water and soil, where smell is both that of death and future fecundity and where form has taken on a noble nakedness before the world in now feeds.
These works combine the language of landscape and figurative painting. Often the horizontal is made vertical forcing the form into the viewer’s space, without the visual retreat afforded in the traditional landscape vista. Hopefully, the gravitas within these works will inspire not just contemplation of self but extend past the self into our shared environment.
My artistic interest is in the realm of abstraction with the intention of creating work that has mystery, beauty and intelligence. Every choice I make in the studio is filtered through the lens of meaning. I start with nothing and it is by the choices I make that meaning is created.
My practice of making art is also a vehicle for tapping into a deeper consciousness, where I can step outside of my day to day reality and shake hands with the unknown. This is what continually brings me back to the void of the blank surface, it is there truth resides.