With these works I use an intuitive language of repetitive mark-making. As the patterned elements flow, disperse, gather and interact, they suggest to me a narrative revealing the interplay between the natural world, art, culture, and spirit.
I select materials and processes which, through the use of heat, gravity, chemical action and chance, are somewhat unpredictable. My studio becomes a stage for improvisational actions and reactions. By trusting and holding ideas loosely, relationships emerge in surprising ways that echo the seemingly random aspects of nature and present fertile ground for continued exploration.
We first know the world through our senses. In my works, the senses are brought to awareness through the scale of the works, the tactile qualities of the materials, and the aroma of beeswax. My semi-translucent wax monotypes are lit from the back, adding to their visual attraction like a firefly¹s light. In my installations, layered spaces are formed by overlapping patterns of cut paper. With confounding light and shadow, the viewer is moved into and around the works, creating a physical presence beyond that of the image. The intent is for sensory experience to awaken memory and trigger deeper ideas and emotion.
My works have a deep source in my growing up on the beach on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and in New Orleans. In retrospect, hurricanes (past, and more recent), verdant land, disappearing swamps, and the calm but potentially destructive water and wind, are patterns of connection to my inner and outer worlds.
My works reveal to me much more than I could plan. The installation, Disappear, initially referenced an airplane ride over Louisiana wetlands, the fragility of the cut paper calling to mind erosion from Katrina and the fragility of nature. With the oil disaster in the Gulf, Disappear has added meaning. I hope that my paintings. prints and installations engage viewers in a pictorial environment in which they too experience wonder, awareness and questioning.
--Paula Roland, 2010