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Annie Helmericks-Louder




 

A love of nature remains at the center of all of my interests. Very early in my life I found that looking into mountains and canyons, rivers and streams could be my way of life; land forms my interior “geography of hope.”

Rather than finding narrative through a journalistic listing of elements, I look for ways to create landscape images that are intended to go beyond external experience and convey a deeper internal resonance. Using artmaking as an act of inquiry, my initial boundaries may be changed, released, or even fall away.

Using a variety of mediums—painting, drawing, and fibers, written words and poetry—I select each material to best conceptually abstract, clarify, and communicate what I want to say. For instance, the slick, sagging, sumptuous qualities of luminous natural fiber silk beautifully describe the physical appearance and movements of a river. The essential characteristics of tapestry and embroidery, interpenetrating warp and weft, mirror land’s interwoven and complex relationships. Additionally, the obvious lengthy processes needed to make fiber works brings to each piece an awareness of time. In the way that fallen leaves and washed soil alternately conceal and then expose the body of the land, worked over or rubbed out and restated charcoal or brush passages provide visual metaphors to describe not only what is seen but what is felt.

Implicit in this work is the underlying acknowledgement of the human presence and our impact on the land. Along with celebration and veneration of nature, I seek to reconcile, balance and reaffirm my positioning within the natural world. The “conversations” with nature, while revealing close intimacy, also uncover unresolved schisms. The making of art enables me to take my internal sensibilities and move them out into a visible realm that others can see.


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