LandEscape Art Review | Page 172

LandE scape


Cynthia Brannvall

Lives and works in
An artist ' s statement


he conceptual themes that run through out my work have to do with identity and landscape . I am interested in identity formation in relation to that of the individual and that of the collective – meaning the identity of a community or a culture or a nation . I connect ideas of identity with the landscape in the sense of a terrain . I understand landscape to be a terrain that can be geographical but also a terrain that can be about memory or nostalgia , or a terrain that is historical . This informs my research as an Art Historian and the visual language I develop in my art practice .
I understand culture and identity to be complex , political , and often-contested ideas . I think a lot about the nature and location of culture and how it informs and produces identity . Where does culture reside ? Is it contained within a geographical space or does it exist in people ? Is it something that crosses time and space ? Is it inherited ? Is it a habit or is it a choice ? Is culture something remembered or is it something that can be claimed ? Is it something we can choose to embrace or deny ? How is culture connected to art , national identity , and capital ? I identify with multiple sites of belonging as opposed to any particular one . I am intrigued by hybridity , inbetween spaces and underrepresented perspectives as a means and site of knowledge and alternative histories that are more inclusive .
My art practice is varied in expression , but an interest in process and materials are consistent . I engage with patterns and materials as signifiers . I like to use materials that have a historical fingerprint to make an unexpected contemporary statement . The abstract textile collages I make are composed of stained and heavily worn vintage lace , seams , trim , ruffles and bindings structured in a grid form . For me , these pieces hold a comfortable tension between painting and sculpture and fine art and craft . I like to think about the abstract patterns in the material as protein folds of DNA that cross bodies of water and continents , and cross the bodies of ancestors . I intend the textile patterns to evoke text , music , history , and the presence and work of women . My choice to use porcelain introduces a material and conceptual tension between that which is precious and fragmented .
Cynthia Brannvall