Artist Statement

INTERVIEW

Michael Corbin, the contemporary art writer, has written an interview about my work.

It can be read online at:

http://artbookguy.com/john-day-journeys-in-wilderness-_998.html

 

INSTALLATION / ASSEMBLAGE

My practice includes installation and assemblage using wilderness as a source. I transform these spaces with the use of natural materials so that the spaces are significantly altered,
and promote a dialog between manmade and natural environments. The tension that exists between these two worlds provides a challenging area for artistic activity. The process begins with a consideration of the structural or natural components of a given space. An idea for an installation is developed that responds to these components, and makes a statement about the natural world within a manmade space, or a park setting. Other installations and assemblages comment on our fragile, conflicted relationship with nature, through works that refer to journeying within, experiencing and confronting wilderness. Images of forest details combined with text, topographic lines, and natural materials comprise these works.

 

In travels through forests of the Northeast, I obtain ideas for my work by observing natural phenomena. I develop installations ands assemblages using materials that are found in the region. These materials may consist of branches, tree fragments, vines, reeds, other natural objects, digital prints, and video.

 

PAINTING

My work has its source in wilderness. I observe natural phenomena, which generates ideas for the development of paintings. These abstractions, using organic forms, convey a sense of the mystery, exuberance and power found in nature. Paintings are developed intuitively, where forms, passages and lines are placed in response to previous layers. The resolution of the paintings is dependent on this process.

 

The Glacial Pond series is derived from a group of ponds in a nature preserve in Nassau County, Long Island. The presence or absence of precipitation causes the water level in the ponds to rise and fall, from flood stage to nearly dry. The visual appearance and biological condition of the ponds also changes dramatically with the seasons. This series of paintings is based on the phenomena and conditions observed in the ponds. The appearance of the ponds at a specific time provides a starting point for a process of abstraction. The process eliminates extraneous detail and concentrates on the essence of what interests me about the subject. Light reflected from the ponds and from the material on the surface also influences this process.

 

The Wilderness series is also based on wilderness experience, and encounters with phenomena there. These works combine reductive color schemes, light, layering, linear forms, and are involved with movement through wilderness space.

 

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