Abstracted Garden (Homage to my Grandma Helmi)Artist Statement

My current work consists of ornate compositions that use a pattern-based topographical matrix to portray ideas about land and our natural world. I use fabric, fur, flock, glitter, glass eyes and more to construct images that are simultaneously ordered, in disarray, realistic and abstract. The tapestry-like format is dense, haphazard, sometimes tangled, and bursting with energy. Seemingly chaotic and lacking of floor-plan, the terrain is teeming with activity, and like our natural world, one pocket of activity finds connection and entwines into the next.

I’m interested in conjoining imagery from our natural world with manmade materials or constructed nature. When building an artwork, the nature-based imagery is sometimes transformed until it is almost abstracted. Combining patterns found in the natural environment with abstracted shape and form, my focus is on the delicate, minute, natural systems that are often unnoticed or unseen.

It all stems from a personal curiosity about nature, our connection to it, and a fascination with its immense power. I watch the current of a stream—the ripples, patterns, the innate navigation of water unfailingly maneuvering obstacles—and remember this flow as a process to emulate in my own work. With faith and intrigue I continue to question: what lies just around the bend of unknown nature’s terrain?

Deep in the WillowwacksI’m interested in micro and macro perspectives to convey the bold and delicate forms that exist in the mysterious realms that surround us. The images are meant to transport viewers across abstracted land and sky, illuminating a path to the deep, dark recesses of our universe.

The science of fractals and patterns of chaos are particularly important to my work. Fractals are complex geometric figures made up of patterns that repeat—each time on a smaller scale, and each smaller version is a “self-similar” form. While at first glance fractals might appear as a tangled disorder, there is an inherent structured composition embedded into this dynamic system. They basically tell the story of the wild transformations in nature that are taking place on a daily basis, giving order to a chaotic world of energy and change.

I respond to these natural wonderments and I’m charmed and fascinated by nature’s intrinsic capacity to create and reproduce patterns. I use a wealth of media to create the work, which for me forms an environment or mini-ecosystem; elements circulate to and from one to another like a functioning unit.

“History shows us that some of the great traditions of ornamental styles transcended the limitations of pure decoration and were able to transmute redundancy into plenitude and ambiguity into mystery.”

E.H. Gombrich, The Sense of Order: A Study in the Psychology of Decorative Art

—Carrie Lederer