What Remains; an exploration of the Erosion Series by Anna Carll
Reduction. The Erosion Series is about seeing the beauty in the natural event of decay and building an aesthetic around it. Like the Japanese wabi-sabi; the acceptance of transience and imperfection, I repurpose and create new life out of past work or begin anew on fresh panels or paper. Inside the studio and out, observing the natural decay of the life cycle has made me appreciate that within reduction the more possibility there will be. This exhibition explores all creative aspects of my studio practice including paintings, weavings, book arts, and 3-dimensional pieces. My book arts practice, which began when I settled in Chattanooga in 2013, provides me the opportunity to use all my skills from my graphic design days through to what I have learned as a painter.
As I quietly paint, I have both decisive moments and an earnest, listening eye. In the midst of this what occurs is nuance, serendipity, intuitive associations, chaos, and reduction. Working with abstraction allows me to explore the boundaries between positive and negative space, the use of unusual textures and the mixing of different media. I begin this work flat while adding and subtracting subtle and intense color as well as exploring various types of heavy texture. I allow the water-based media to flow and puddle in the valleys of marks and textures that were first laid down, enhancing the interaction with paint, inks or collaged hand-made papers gradually adding multiple layers that begin to form the foundation of the urban grids, urban botanicals, character botanicals or weavings. Once color and chaos are achieved across the surface, the pieces then go up on my painting wall where I begin the reduction process. I am fascinated with the push/pull of creating civilizations and nature taking them back. For the grid paintings, I begin by taping off the areas of the surface that interest me to begin the formation of the urban street grid as I build the composition between positive and negative space. The urban botanicals focus more on the relationship between nature’s relentless botanical growth in the nooks and crannies of urban architecture. The character botanicals explore eroded botanical shapes seen through the window of letterforms that make a hidden word. Making these paintings is as much a physical experience as a psychological one. I embrace and process the nuances of this work and use the outcome as a vehicle to communicate a narrative about humanity and the natural world around me that exists outside of language.