As a collage and fiber artist I revel in taking similar or disparate parts and melding them into something new, encountering how individual elements are transformed when combined with others. I explore the subleties and complexities of color, light, and movement with constant fascination.
I frequently juxtapose ordered, compartmentalized images with those which are indistinct, amorphous, and obscured. Sometimes the elements have obvious connections, sometimes more surprising ones. With a subtle use of detailing, I often employ layering to create an interplay between what is revealed and what is concealed.
There are often references to the landscape and other natural forms in my work, while inspiration derives from a range of influences. From the engaging details of Italian Renaissance masters' panel paintings, to otherworldly rock formations I have encountered in the American Southwest, to the abiding dualities of nature and cityscape that I observe on daily walks, I draw from a pool of varied sources.
Very recent pieces reference windowlike forms in a contemplative manner, exploring dreamlike experiences, the notion of inside/outside, and the all too often unsung beauty of a quiet gesture.
I fabricate my own collage materials, implementing painting and printmaking methods (paste paper printing, gelatin plate printing, stenciling, etc.) which allow for a gradual and incremental buildup of imagery. I choose techniques which can result in a wide range of textural effects and moods with varying degrees of transparency and depth. In the final stage I machine stitch the constructions, utilizing the stitched line as a design element while celebrating my passion for textiles.
I hope to create some sense of reprieve from the bombardment of images which confront us from day to day...it is an attempt to find an antidote...a breathing space...and a personal respite from some of the chaos and hectic pace of life we collectively experience.
Karen L. McCarthy