Amanda E. Gross
House / Storm #3 – Hills (2016)
acrylic on wood
24 x 24 in.
The work in this series began as a search for shelter, for a structure that could withstand swelling darkness, tornadoes, familial deaths, and other Midwestern nightmares. I photographed the silo and houses on trips into nature while reeling from my father’s passing and the dissolution of my family home. However, in the course of creating the paintings, I realized that the built environment wasn’t the refuge, but the natural one, the landscape itself. Brewing storms and rough hills of wild grass dwarf the humble, human-built structures, but the atmosphere of electricity, with neon bolts and squiggles, is expectant, an inviting contrast to the static dwellings. The slow buildup of acrylic layers exposing the wood grain adds additional fluid movement. Sure there are threats of storms, of death, but it’s all part of the natural cycle, indeed the most exciting part. The grass will flatten, dry out, get kicked up, but grassroots bolster mountains.