Renee Couture

To the Rumored Garden, no. 1
archival pigment print of digital drawing and collage on paper
42 x 42 in.

Influenced by both the personal and the political, I draw inspiration from the historical and social landscape of “place”. Using my own rural community as a starting point, I articulate the complexity and range of the public’s relationship with their nearby landscape. I point to the tension between the literal and conceptual values imbued upon a place, our interactions with wild and managed landscapes, and the convergence of ecological integrity and social well-being. I recognize we have a variety of relationships with nature and I consider how those relationships shift and reshape over time.

My project-based practice moves fluidly between sculpture, photography and drawing, allowing my ideas to dictate media, form, and process. I apply formal and conceptual strategies to re-contextualize and re-appropriate quotidian objects and imagery – travel trailers, flora, fencing – to point to social values. My work employs subtle embellishments, amalgamations, and alterations to make work physically, mentally, and emotionally approachable.

I believe one of my jobs as an artist is to bring reminders of rural America to viewers. My work is firmly rooted in my living in the West, specifically Pacific Northwest timber country. Through examining the pressures capitalism places on the environment and how those pressures manifest themselves within ecosystems and one’s community, I attempt to understand the place I now call home.