artist statements

The River to N°W
Triangulating Infinity
On Drawing
JC Series – the politics of poetry
Lysichiton americanus
Louder than words



The River to N°W

For this exhibition, Thirst! Thinking with our Senses, my visual point of departure was the legacy of David Thompson – documentation in text, surveys, and especially mapping of the Columbia River fur trade highway to the Pacific.

Expanding on this theme, I visually explore the texture of a river’s history, with more historic documents, images, stories, and symbols of the Columbia Basin, as defined by its natural evolution and the (relatively recent) recorded human history of inhabitants, travellers, and traders.

The format is an assemblage of mixed media drawings on paper, to give an historic impression of interconnection. This has been a new path of visual exploration, evolving with some fascinating research.
— hm 2014

 



Triangulating Infinity

The TIN series involves working on the micro level with a macro data set, using drafting graphite in the H values, on surfaces of varying texture. This is a departure from my usual observational approach to drawing; an exploration of a cartographic technique with focus an intentional consequence.

A TIN (Triangulated Irregular Network) is a surface modelling technique using irregularly-spaced points to interpolate values in mapping. I have applied the process of Delaunay Triagulation to vector-based data; specifically, astronomical (x,y) data, rather than terrestrial (x,y,z) data, normally used for digital terrain modelling, with some adjustment (creative license) to benefit the drawing.
— hm 2011

 



On Drawing

My preferred drawing style – the blind contour – is my form of meditation. Blind contour involves following the surface edges of an object with the eyes, and echoing that line with ink or graphite in the hand, without looking at the drawing surface for the duration of the line.

There is no expectation. With blind contour drawing, my enjoyment stems from the moment of drawing and from the element of surprise when the drawing is completed – complete failure, or pleasing outcome, never predictable. Layering meditated lines, I am the passive data collector with optic sensors, emptying thoughts, assumptions, preconceptions, and time. For me, this meditative practice begins with the desire to replicate the captivating lines and shapes of what is before me.

DRAWING IS
The record of a rendezvous between the observer and the observed.
A fleeting phase caught before the certain change of state.
The end of a stream of thought manifest in graphite.
A two-dimensional diagram framed in emptiness.
Fundamental algebra for the calculus of faith.
Documentation. Observation. Evidence.
How landscape gets remembered.
A popcorn trail of my footsteps.
Simplifying the confusion.
Essential structure.
Give and take.

— hm 2011

 



JC Series – the politics of poetry

The shadow box collages were an exploration in juxtaposition and spatial relationship to create meaning. With set parameters of colour, format, and found objects, each element represents an idea. Adding the third dimension to a painting enables shadow to be a variable, altering each piece as the light source changes. The process was akin to the typographic design of verses within the borders of the page. Although personal meaning is suggested in the title (another element of the poem), the viewer is left to respond with their own story or meaning.
— hm 2011

 



Lysichiton americanus

“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” – Anaïs Nin

The aroma of spring calls me out to the marsh, where, from the muck, emerges glowing colour. Lysichiton americanus (swamp lantern, yellow arum, skunk cabbage) never fails to pique my creative curiosity. This regional plant is life springing from the delicate waters of the melting winter. This crop of work, becoming larger-than-life, captures its peak, wherein each stroke of paint becomes an abstraction of nature.

I am fed by what nature reveals as unusual. For me, drawing is a meditation to connect with the source. Painting is my dialogue between the motivation and the medium, a way to revel in colour amid monochromatic Canadian winters, and a revealing act for viewers when creative work is interpreted.
— hm 2007

 



Louder than words


You travel near. You travel far.
You question who or what you are.
You swim about. You shop. You shag.
You drink. You dance. You lollygag.

And once the blood and sweat and tears
Are shed and turn to ice,
An explanation must ensue
As if mere words suffice.

You thunder. You wonder.
You look to the shore.
You turn the next page and
Begin to explore.

And when the blood and sweat and tears
Are rid and art prevails,
Some skilled verbiage is required
As though words can avail.

— hm 2006

 


MakingAMark-GalleryC_2015.12.09_image©A.MacASKiLL_gs.120.500

HEATHER MacASKiLL
visual artist : drawing · painting · digital photography
based in Nelson British Columbia since 1991

 


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