How Things Spread
screen-print with hand-coloring
28 x 23 in.
I remember the simple passions of childhood. The unwavering dedication to staying inside the imposing black lines of a coloring book page and attempting, in crayon, a sort of printed perfection. The desire to take a generic, undistinguished image and make it my own, mark by mark by mark. The predictable, repetitive environment of the classroom, where logic prevailed and I excelled. Some things change and some things don’t. While the images I make now are entirely my own, directed by self-imposed boundaries, the repetitive nature of the mark making, whether it be printed or drawn, and the intense effort involved allows me the necessary satisfaction in claiming an image. It is the justification of a ritual. Ritual -n. an inflexible, stylized and often repetitive sequence of actions that may indicate an obsession.
As an artist I cling to many of the same systems of identity and structure I did as a child. I need order. I need to understand why things happen. Inevitably though, the chaos I encountered in childhood, a somewhat nomadic environment where everything was interchangeable: schools, home, relationships- my life, has permanently infiltrated my work, evidenced by moments of invention and happenstance. So while I am generally systematic in my approach to an image, imposing an order that is strictly my own, there always remains an element of the unknowable; a juxtaposition of ordered thought and unfiltered emotion. The result is a visual language the viewer is left to decipher. My subverted realities, colored by emotion and memory, become theirs.
© Nichole Maury