LandEscape Art Review - Page 181

Cynthia Brannvall

LandE scape

CONTEMPORARY ART REVIEW being in between categories aesthetically and otherwise . The collages are objects that are somewhere in between painting and sculpture and Hine art and craft . Collage is a really effective way of incorporating a temporal element . I use these fragments of fabric that are full of stains and signs of decay as material signiHiers of the past and try link them through the present by reconHiguring them in a different function in the form of a painting .
My process in making the textile collages begins with scavenging for antique and vintage textiles . I often dismantle 18 _ ` , 19th and early 20 _ ` century clothing . I zero in on edge work — seams , the gathers of a rufHle , trim and hems — where hand sewn or machine stitches , turned fabric and the character of pleating can reveal social distinctions to the eye of a seamstress . This is also the kind of Hinishing work my grandmother delegated to me . Sometimes I use imagery of the Higure or the landscape as a point of departure and then proceed letting the materials suggest the subsequent forms . I ‘ paint ’ the textiles onto stretched crinoline using acrylic matte medium . With the more abstract pieces like Continents and Blink , I structure them in a grid format working on all panels simultaneously , waiting for the next form to suggest itself .
For this special edition of LandEscape we have selected Continents , an interesting work that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article . What has at once captured our attention of your captivating investigation about the notion of landscape is the way you provided the visual results of your analysis with autonomous aesthetics : while walking our readers through the genesis of Continents , would you like to tell us something about your usual process and set up ?
My piece Continent is about a deeper memory . I was thinking about geological deep time and trying to create a visual language of that in relation to the deep time memory of culture , history , forced and voluntary migrations and biological migrations that occur in our DNA . I had the vision for Continents when I completed my undergraduate degrees and started working on it while I was in graduate school and made a concerted effort to Hinish it after I completed my Masters degree . Continents is a triptych of the continents related to my individual and cultural identities , which are America , Europe and Africa . I left the title open so that the viewer could establish his or her own continents or think about migration in general . The work has patterns that migrate from panel to panel and I think of these as signs that could stand in for people , biological traits , stories and histories . Each panel is 48 x 68 inches and I worked on them simultaneously in the 2ⁿg bedroom in my house over a period of about 3 years . It was backbreaking work . I didn ’ t have an ergonomically friendly set up . Having said that , it was also a highly intuitive process and there was something magical about being enmeshed in a creative process for hours on end . It is the largest piece that I have made and there is something very satisfying about that .
Your exploration of the notion of landscape as a terrain that can be geographical but also a terrain that can be about memory or nostalgia accomplishes an effective investigation about the relationship between perception , memory and personal
31