I am self-taught and create works in which disparate and sometimes ridiculous things juxtapose. I imagine that this makes me a “Surrealist”.
I look up the definition and find that Surrealism is: “a cultural movement…best known for its visual artworks and writings”. It starts in 1917, with artists painting “unnerving, illogical scenes, sometimes with photographic precision, creating strange creatures from everyday objects, and developing painting techniques that allowed the unconscious to express itself”.
Early in our last century, then, parts of collective culture had a drive to "resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality into an absolute reality, a super-reality", or a surrealite”. I think it is still a valid endeavor.
My recent work centers around objects found while traveling or while in the middle of everyday experiences. My favored materials, like wood, bone and moss, belong to both the present and the past and exist outside of everyday Time.
“Found” objects hold a history. Their existence creates a time-line, ending at each present moment, and establishes us as observers and participants in a relationship to/with what is viewed or held, embedding us within its shared temporal arc.
Traces of kinship with our evolutionary ancestors are around us everywhere. They carry the sense-memories of ancestral experiences we hold in our deepest archives.
At this cultural tipping point, it is imperative that we preserve the relics and symbols of our ancestral collective and that we retain access to our own unconscious wisdom.
Elizabeth Arnold, PhD