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ana edwards

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sketchmarks & quiltbearings

 

Sketchmarks was the first body of the brush and ink drawings developed from sketches on paper into layered drawings on wood. June 2000

 

Next Marks was the title of the second body of work, and second exhibition, that continued the Sketchmark format, though following a landscape thematic reference.  July 2002

 

Quilt-bearings are the drawings added to the Sketchmarks body of work that has evolved over the last two years.  Some on paper, some on wood these drawings begin to expand from minimal compositional expressions to more complex layerings and juxtapositions of textures, values and marks.  There is less emphasis on the beauty of the individual line and more emphasis on strong forms created from combinations of elements, and their subsequent placement in the composition.

 

Conceptually the name Quilt-bearings refers to legacy and my struggle to translate the past into a relevant present.  There are specific explorations of the work of my father, mother and uncle, who are all visual artists, and those of my grandmothers and great-grandmothers who pieced together quilts and clothes from fragments of fabric already old with work history and household rituals.  The presence of my grandfathers is quieter, but as I learn more about them in their absence I will further strengthen the seams and stitches of my own work. 

 

In recent years an awareness of who I am because of who came before balloons my consciousness whenever I contemplate the purpose of my work.  With identity being a topic of high visibility these days, I think often of those in my family who have each traveled their lives through the 20th century in the U.S.; my sons have arrived in the 21st century from the lives of Africans, immigrant Norwegian, English, Scots-Irish, French and Native American peoples.  As workers they have passed from farms, factories and labor to business, education and arts, indications that opportunities and options changed, enhanced by a great love of books, Conversations with my family have fed a growing interest in the concept of legacy, and I am currently researching struggles for self-determination by cultures and nations that translate down to the struggles of communities and individuals - specifically how those struggles in the past continue to impact present-day struggles. 

 

Art historically, abstract expressionism is my umbilical cord, and social realism a collective of capillaries feeding my creative organs.  I could make a long list of influences on my work, but would most likely come back to the artists in my family, Japanese and Chinese calligraphy, black & white photography and textile arts of all kinds because of the ways in which these particular people and mediums have demonstrated to me how a single line can become a language.

 

ANA EDWARDS

Over the last few years the creative process has both lured and dragged me into the community.  Since you can't make truly good work in a personal void, investigation and direct expression and thoughtful analysis (not to mention hashing and rehashing your findings) are essential components of the art-making process. The work is not separate from my life and my life is not separate from my politics, so, I'm happy to say that my work is political.  Creativity is struggle and the more aware one becomes, personally or socially, the more deeply the struggle is engaged.  In a nutshell, I'm grateful for my ancestors, my parents, my children, my friends and my comrades in the struggle for human freedom, justice and equality through strength, compassion and truthful expression. 
jan 2006

jan 2006
Over the last few years the creative process has both lured and dragged me into the community.  Since you can't make truly good work in a personal void, investigation and direct expression and thoughtful analysis (not to mention hashing and rehashing your findings) are essential components of the art-making process. The work is not separate from my life and my life is not separate from my politics, so, I'm happy to say that my work is political.  Creativity is struggle and the more aware one becomes, personally or socially, the more deeply the struggle is engaged.  In a nutshell, I'm grateful for my ancestors, my parents, my children, my friends and my comrades in the struggle for human freedom, justice and equality through strength, compassion and truthful expression. 
 
Looking Forward.
 
aug 2005
The new work will search for and crawl through imagery that is intrinsically political, and so more realistic. More portraits of people reclaiming themselves. More Pragmatism. More Opportunity. Tangible flights of Resistance.
 
jul 2002
Growing up I always felt color as beautiful, breath-taking, seductive. But black & white was essential and remains so. Everything art that I love best, which sings directly to me, has always been in black and white. Silent films, Akira Kurosawa and Ingmar Bergman films; old and plentiful family photographs & the photojournalism of the 40s-60s; jazz album covers; books; japanese woodcuts; chinese calligraphy; summer storms.

The first art tools I remember being given as a child were a bamboo brush, an ink stick and a grinding stone. (The first toy I remember was a broken adding machine; I loved the sound and the feel when I pushed all those buttons, pretending to calculate.)

I always want to convey strength and thoughtfulness. I am interested in the flashes of recognition that come into being and may or may not be remembered, but are built upon endlessly -- the gaps, the moments in between. Between the abstract and the figure are faces that reveal their masks, and gestures that dress for an occasion.

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