Artist Statement 

 

My work explores concepts of narrative and history; seen in sequences of events, the layering of paper, proximity, the characteristics of a place, of a life, of a bird flying across the sky and gone, passing times of days, of months, of years, houses being built and taken down... 

For me a collection tells a kind of story- this is how I see the world, trying to make sense, to explain and figure out why things are where they are, how things came to be, what connects them, what came before what, and why.   

The current pictures are made with collaged paper from a variety of everyday print media, with painted and drawn segments. Images are taken from encyclopedias, gardening catalogues, postcards, comic, flyers, tea bag wrappers… certainly not random, but mundane, iconographic, symbolic, and compelling to me. I work intuitively, which to me means careful attention to what is there and using that as a guide, thus, composition, both physically and abstractly,  is at the root of most of my decision-making.  Sequences and layers imply time passing and real events (the making of the artwork itself. 

It’s important to me how different ways of seeing and shifting perspectives alter the story one tells one’s self.  Like seeing the Statue of Liberty from the subway bridge: it’s very small and abstract - an idea - intimate like memory, encapsulated as a fragment. Seeing it on the boat to Ellis Island up close, it’s huge, imposing and physically affecting.  Shifts in scale effect perception inviting the psyche to alternate between present reality and imagination.

I make my work to figure things out and to celebrate and mourn our world; at once beautiful, crude and continually evolving.   It’s an exploration of states of minds, memories and abstract ideas that made concrete through the composition of images. 

Painting, a thing of ideas, and imagination, is a place where this can be done.

Sally Gil 2016