Larraine Seiden – Artist Statement
My latest series Sensate of Place explores emotional terrains. Each piece is an abstract narrative that explores topographies of the body and the built environment. Through these I consider how we are marked by the places we construct and how we mark/make them. Rather than specific locations, this body of work delves into internalized coordinates and the way memory selectively maps experience—of a place out in the world or of a place in time.
Each piece is a vignette recorded in wax-based encaustic paint. Repeating linear elements lead into each scene and interact with bodily forms. To build up the lines I stretch and press fabric pieces such as netting or string into thick, skin-like layers of wax pigment. Undulating impressions left by the fabric suggest cityscapes, calendars, and maps that reflect the subjective nature of time and place. These paintings appear to move and change In natural light as the sun plays across the textures.
My work also uses opacity and transparency to explore intersections of the private interior world versus the public lives we live. This is seen in the piece titled Charting, in which etched opaque surfaces give way to reveal translucent layers. There is a palpable interaction between the regimented marks and the revealed interior which is punctuated by a seam splitting lengthwise. The viewer viscerally feels that opening. In this way, the textures and layers seen in this series build an experience of place that is deeply somatic.
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