Carolyn draws. She’s been exploring the portrait, self and with animal, for about a decade. In her new large-scale canvas, she explores animal portraits. She will have you come face to face with 200 pairs of eyes. It’s an intense experience this grid of twenty heads across and ten heads down of birds, cats, monkeys, wolves, frogs, deer, rabbits, raccoons, elephants…
Here are a few process shots below which give you a sense of the intricate work.
In the beginning….
graphite, gouache on canvas,
43″ x 86″,
Self-portraits became prominent in my work starting in 2001, as a way to express myself politically after the 2000 presidential election. But I continued to use them as a way to communicate, often rendering a mirror self-portrait and then pairing it with a caption of some sort. I eventually paired myself with animal images that I wore as a sort of hat. It seemed that my image assisted in helping with their nonverbal communication.
A couple of these will show in the exhibit along with an other process examples.
I usually just explain the different bodies of work rather than get very philosophical. Partly because I am somewhat dry in personality and as a cop out.
Below are photos and a line of explanation…
Accidental Compositions, scanned digital images from collage cutouts.
1 or 2 Journal panels. They connect to the Accidental Compositions.
Journal 52 (entwined)
11″ x 14″
The Journal body of work contains imagery that comes from my personal journals where I collage. I love the sense of ownership I get by appropriating images and doing what I will with them. I collect things as I see them; I never go searching for a particular thing. And while I appropriate anything that grabs my attention I also combine images with personal photos. Any narrative content is a by-product of the type of things that were previously collected. I don’t consider my journals to be art so I retain a sense of freedom during the initial collaging.
Arizona has proven to be a fertile place for creativity due to its raw, extreme, and contrasting qualities. But I still love the Northwest flora and landscape which are referenced in my work and in the obsessive landscaping I do in my urban yard.
You should know that since this posting there are 3 more animal heads completed.
Carolyn Lavender was raised in Washington and has lived in Arizona for many years.
She attended Northern Arizona and Arizona State University where she earned a BFA and MFA in Drawing. Some resume highlights are the 2004 Arizona State University Art Museum show “Democracy in America”, the 1995 and 2007 Tucson Museum of Art Biennials, and the “Group Show of Strangeness”, Durex Arte Contemporanea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Public collections include: ASU Art Museum Print collection, Mesa Contemporary Arts, Tucson Museum of Art, City of Glendale, City of Mesa, City of Phoenix Municipal Print Collection and Shemer Art Center. In 1996 she completed a residency at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and another at Studios Midwest, Galesburg, IL in 2005. In 2001 Lavender helped found the Phoenix artist-run space, eye lounge and was a member for 3 years.