Statement

Place

Destinations are maps to be redrawn. When I travel, typically I am attracted to surroundings that remind me of home: the Catskills, Hudson Highlands, Berkshires… and the magnetism of diverse locations overseas: the Netherlands, Ireland, Greece… that I often try to integrate. Being from a family of figurative artists (further versed in abstraction), our storytelling rituals usually revolve around such expeditions and paintings from the landscape. Emotionally tied to the land, to telling its story, I often reconfigure space attempting to reveal its intrinsic identity. Inspired by geography and habitat, wild or tame, where alignments merge or diverge, I search for patterns of tread. It is a pleasure to track textural rhythms that reoccur over time (from strata in wood and stone to wind-disturbed plains and disputes in weather conditions). This helps me to reflect upon the reclamation of nature.

On long walks, finding small tactile fragments of sculptural preoccupation moreover informs my work as a painter and printmaker. Working from life, memory and my own references, beginning with sketches and watercolors, I further manipulate line, form, perspective, color and tone in oil: resolving images on primed canvas or panel. Finalizing a point of orientation, I have lately been elaborating upon shapes, such as the trapezoid, which has helped me to better see with my eyes rather than with my mind. I enjoy the altered format as it energizes the shifting capacity of the horizon (where atmosphere can interlock, lift, fold, dissolve or collapse). The landscape is limitless: a portal, door or window into levity that I work to apprehend. It is an ongoing challenge to distort or suspend the boundaries between elements of nature, especially when they misbehave.

– Alethea Maguire-Cruz