texture artist - painter - programmer catherine hervey
MFA ARTIST'S STATEMENT
The statement below pertains to the body of work I am creating to present as a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts in Visualization from Texas A&M University.
Absence has a powerful presence. Anthropologist Severin Fowles stated that absences could be encountered as “object-like entities that stand over against us and demand response.” They can exist as their own entity with powers and potentialities similar to their opposition. Ironically, absences can enhance the audience’s relationship with the entity that is missing.
Inspired by the 1970s, the decade of the minimalistic horror film, my paintings, digital and traditional, use low budget effects to instill high value chills. I endeavor to agitate the viewer’s sense of unease and exploit their fear of the unknown. By deliberately omitting or obscuring the subject, I call upon the audience’s boundless imagination to fill in the holes. Through a combination of visual illusions with minimalist horror mise en scene, I can mislead the viewer into “seeing” that which is not there. Applying Hitchcock’s methods of suspense, I hope to create an eerie feeling that something wicked this way comes, yet provide my audience with an unsettling mystery begging to be solved.
My creative research is framed by the idea of the sublime, the uncanny, the carnality of absence, as well as minimalist horror films. I explore these ideas using computer-graphics-rendered and physical vignettes. Employing uniquely shaped canvases in my physical work, I give my digital and traditional paintings the illusion of depth. Incorporating physical computing into these pieces, I aspire to add another dimension to my paintings. In my computer graphics rendered vignettes, I play with lights and shadow to fool the audiences’ perception of the scene.
My art is focused on surreal vignettes that are confounding, subliminal, and disconcerting. Motivated by trendy colors of the 1970s, my paintings are dominated by oranges, browns, greens, and yellows. Created in the classical style, influenced by the “Mod” movement of the seventies, my body of work will have a unified unnerving and spooky feel. Combining absence along with visual illusions and horror film motifs, I hope to instill the viewer with an inexplicable sense of presence.