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Buchanan, Mary
thesis / dissertation description
My artwork is about juxtaposition and the presence of conflict. I search for the sublime in the somber realities associated with health, aging, and vulnerability. The dualities involved in human mortality produce a tension that inspires me to create. I also explore the physical relationships between contrasting media, and attempt to resolve their differences. I use narrative devices as well as the formal elements of art to work through visual problems. Mood is suggested through texture, color, form, and quality of line. Symbolism consists of walkers, wheelchairs, hand tools, earrings, children's toys, vacuum cleaners, and human silhouettes. My quilted textiles are a result of mixed media studies and printmaking techniques. Small surface explorations that combine drawing and collage help me develop compositional ideas as well as a visual vocabulary. From this information, I make rubbings, stencils, collagraphs, masks, and silk screens that I print on fabric. I seek to challenge and expand quilt making techniques by using both traditional and unorthodox materials.I layer, tear, stitch, and cut images from cotton, paper, polypropylene, canvas, and silk organza. The order of these processes is often displaced; instead of finishing with stitch I may use it as a starting point. Coupling imagery that is associated with the difficult reality of human transience with the beauty of materiality generates a dualism that I attempt to unite. It is within opposing principles that I challenge myself as an artist.