Sarofim School of Fine Arts

Christine Harris

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    Skull and Green Jacket
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    Rags
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    Rags II
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    Rags III
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    Rags IV
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    Senior Exhibition

2011 B.A. with a focus in Painting

In the paintings of the Unbridled Voids series, I seek to find how painted lines based directly on objects such as wadded cloth rags or tracings of shadows take on new meaning as they are inserted into an abstract pictorial context. These lines represent objects while serving as abstract entities acting as unbridled swarms of unfamiliar contours. By using these common, low objects - such as rags - for subject matter through the tradition of painting, I hope to elevate them to the level of “high art” (if one can believe in such hierarchies).

 

In a dissertation entitled Presence, Absence and the Interface in 20th Century Literature and Painting, Dr. Claudette Roberts explains that culturally accepted notions or objects are conceptualized through dichotomies such as man/women, presence/absence and sound/silence. The relationship between these dichotomies is historically seen as polar opposites, but in her theory they are anything but. One end of a dichotomy (for example: sound) may appear to be dominant over the other (silence), when in reality dominants are dependant on subordinates to exist. Through the act of painting, I contemplate how painted atmospheres and intensities of pigments can break the perceived barriers of these dichotomies by acting in a wide range of relationships in advancing and receding planes in pictorial spaces.

 

As one sees deeper into the works, unexpected interactions of color evoke a sense of how beautiful the undefined and unpredictable can be. Lines, colors and shapes also become, for me, a meditation on the infinite passage of moments and our shifting relationship to their fluctuating presence in our lives. My paintings explore these complex structures of chaos as well as the difficulties in discerning the moments in our lives as we attempt to make them coherent and structured.