Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Layers of Time - The art of Laura Moriarty

 Plateau  2011  Encaustic on panel  8 x 8 x 7 in. Photo: Josephine Kenney

                               I was born in Beacon, New York in 1960. Pete Seeger lived there, (still does) and was very active, so I was influenced by the whole this-land-is-your-land movement. As a young person, I watched curiously from the sidelines as trippy hippies squatted in the abandoned casino on top of Mt. Beacon. There was a defunct trolly that used to bring tourists up there, with an old sign boasting the "Worlds' Steepest Incline!". I have lived all over the Hudson Valley, but for the past twenty years, the small town of Rosendale has been my home. It's an old mining town once renown for it's world-famous cement, and there are still mines and caves all over the town, more remnants of a bygone industry which feeds my imagination.

                                 My current work   aims  to create  a  glossary of  geologic processes - as if each piece were a diagram  from  a geology textbook, illustrating cross-sections of imagined terrains. These  paintings  are  built up  thickly around embedded sculptural elements.Then they are excavated and eroded down to reveal what was buried.  Like rockfaces or archaeological sites, their layers reveal the history of their making and can be read like the lines of a story.

                            I began painting with pigmented beeswax about 12 years ago and became interested in the range of things that can  happen by heating and cooling the wax. This process of heating and cooling has evolved into a way for me to draw parallels between human and geologic time. Rocks can tell the story of time if you know how to read their bands of strata. In my own comparatively smaller way, I consider painting similarly - using the process of making as a tool for discovery. In my work, process and concept merge as I consider the pure medium fodder for a re-visioning of natural history, where I get to make all the specimens in the museum.

Above paintings,  Centre left, " Caldera"  2010  Encaustic on shaped panel ,approx. 12 x 8 x 5.5 in. Photo: Richard Edelman,  Centre right, " Cover Collapse "(detail) 2011  Encaustic on panel  10 x 10 x 8 in.  Photo: Josephine Kenney. Bottom left: "Subduction into Trench " 2010 Encaustic on panel  10 x 10 x 10 in. Photo: Richard Edelman. Bottom right: "Area Excavation" 2010  Encaustic on panel  8 x 10 x 6 in. Photo: Richard Edelman

Pete Seeger, from Beacon, New York performs with Dar Williams, David Bernz and friends on"Solartopia!"- a song about the environment and supporting the use of green energy. 

The Way Paintings Go - Laura Moriarty

Laura Moriarty is an artist who works at the edge of painting and sculpture. Moriarty’s work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Artspace, New Haven, Connecticut, The Samuel Dorsky Art Museum, Conrad-Wilde Gallery, Tucson, Arizona and The Albany International Airport Gallery. Moriarty has the distinction of having been honored with two Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grants, along with grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Crafts Alliance of New York State.  She has participated in many guest lectures and residencies nationally and internationally.  Her works are included in the collections of the New York Public Library, The Progressive Art Collection, Cleveland, Ohio, the Flemish Ministry of Culture, Antwerp, Belgium, and theJyväskylä Art Museum Holvi, Finland. The artist lives and works in the Hudson Valley Region of New York.  

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