Remembrancer: Selections from Lisa Merida-Paytes, Robert Pulley,
April 1st - May 15th
indian hill gallery
Remembrancer: Selections from Lisa Merida-Paytes, Robert Pulley, and Patrice Trauth, is a group exhibition of work from the regionally based artists and puts their work in dialogue together to create relationships between their visual languages and use of materials.
A remembrancer is a person who reminds another of something and is also a reminder; memento; or souvenir. Through the alluring use of found objects or the manipulation of materials, the artists’ work allows us to think about their methods in conversation with a material, personal, or natural history.
As an artist with disabilities caused from Ataxia, a rare neurological disease that is progressive, affecting my ability to walk, talk, balance myself and use fine motor skills, my artwork not only considers the essential structure of skeletal or embryonic animal references but has become a vehicle to interpret transformative changes occurring in my body caused from the progression of the disease. Also, my work researches and brings awareness people living with disabilities while pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. My work discusses these concepts by focusing on movement's copious flow, a manner of passage of the living body to one’s gait and gesture. This work drives examination and permits curiosity uncovering aspects of human nature and wonder of origin. These juxtaposed ideas reveal blurred distinctions between connections and dysfunction exhibited in multi-media multivalent invocations of the body.
My work serves as a metaphor between our connections, wonder of the natural world and to our future. Like a river or the blood flowing through our veins, our human connection and vessel is in continuous change, transition and movement. This work explores the malfunction of systems to communicate with the whole body and the interrelated fluid parts that flow together. My work discusses and celebrates the fluid connections and movements of body and time, like a river in motion moving toward transformation and hope for our future.
I have been weaving different paper qualities and gauges of copper and steel wire together while strengthening the materials with liquid starch, paper clay slip and epoxy. Also, I have been hand building ceramic molds to cast paper or glass frit while incorporating woven copper pieces inside each of the different materials. When the copper and steel wire structures are added to the cast paper they create unique textures, strength and durability. When the copper wire structures are added to the glass frit and fired in the molds they oxidize and create iridescent hues that are incased inside the glass structure.
Each piece is incredibly light weight because of the materials used and the audience has the opportunity to interact with my work in an intimate way. For instance, the audience is drawn into find these references provocative and they offer me an opportunity to understand our own growth and decay. This work conjures the past, present and future in order to invoke the contemplation of our existence.
I grew up in the American Midwest where frequent solitary walks in the woods and along the creeks and rivers of rural Indiana etched strong impressions into my memory of the varied forms, colors and textures around me. Evidence of the effects of time were everywhere in the rock strata, glacial till, and aboriginal artifacts. I found a sense of wonder that embraced mysteries of nature, of change and of time.
I have always been intuitive, reactive and spontaneous. I love improvisation, expression and the power of chance and serendipity. Here is how it works:
In my creative process there is always a time of free improvisation using easily manipulated materials on a small scale. The materials may have qualities of a found object, chance forms that must be reacted to, much as a jazz musician riffs off a casual theme. The resulting models are very crude, casual and many. A chosen few undergo editing, refinement and transformation as they are built into full size sculptures.
The creative process for me is an extension of life. It is a fluid record of the lived, relational interactions of my world. My work is influenced by everything I absorb on a daily basis: nature, the spiritual world, along with the symbols and beliefs that unite people. These experiences and encounters in life continually create a metamorphosis within my consciousness. My art always surprises me with a tangible, visual diary of these transformations.
Reclaimed materials are often used as compositional elements. These lost or discarded materials are relics of our culture and the natural world. They are sometimes a springboard that jumpstart my creative process. These "found" objects invite me to breathe new life into them. Juxtaposing various materials creates a new metamorphosis in the story of my work.
I find myself thinking about human connections to place, both past and present. Over the years, travel has opened a window of appreciation and understanding of different cultures and beliefs. Art is a universal language and I try to use this language to engage in dialog and connect to the heart and soul of others.