I make immersive-collaged works on paper that draw on the language of maps. The impetus for my project was my longing to connect to my father, a long-haul truck driver who died many years ago. Based on road maps of the United States, routes my father often traveled, and an invented conglomeration, mutation, and fragmentation of those passageways, my works on paper help me piece together the past and make up the parts I cannot know. Using this story as a starting point, I try to imbue the abstract work with a visceral sense of movement through space in order to create an emotional impact.
Since my pieces are not planned, I am compelled to put myself in an explorative mode, employing the abstract space of the map to create a pliable structure for intuition, improvisation and chance. Connecting paper fragments together through collage, drawing in delicate layers, staining with salty washes of ink, printing, and cutting paper have become my methods for navigating the blurry terrain of memory and imagination.
Spending time constructing the small parts that accumulate to create a large work, I find a meditative possibility in working with my hands, creating a closeness and depth of value for me. The handmade element of craft in my work contributes to the richness of the whole and indicates evidence of the hand, allowing for the beauty of imperfection. Using hand-cut paper shapes as collage material and cutting into the ground paper of a work brings the drawings into a sculptural space that hovers between two- and three-dimensions. Mapping serves as a metaphor for searching, an implication of the unknown in wide, open spaces, and a trace of how we see where we’ve been.
Residency: June 2010 - September 2010
Art Exhibition: Friday, September 17 & Saturday, September 18
Val Britton's website