by Tawni Shuler
Reception: Dec 8, 4pm
It is the experience in the details of a place that define it, make it unforgettable and almost magical. I am inspired by memories of landscape: the life cycles of its inhabitants and plants, the drastic seasons, possessing qualities of both grittiness and frailty. Growing up on a farm in rural Wyoming, I had ample opportunity to explore both the beauty and the harshness transpiring within the western landscape. I was able to pick up and study bones and remains of the local wildlife, witness the growth of crops from seeds to plants, watch eggs hatch from a bird’s nest and as children do, gather and collect an assortment rocks, snail shells, feathers, plants, etc. The authenticity of my memory is subject to scrutiny, as I believe it is constantly changing over time. In turn, my work reflects my evolving memories, combining the past with the present. The surfaces portray slivers of accurate representations of past events as well as imagined and embellished counterparts.
As I move through these landscapes, I am constantly stopping to pick up these details: artifacts or specimens, make sketches, take photos, pick apart a plant, etc. I notice I don’t ever really take in the whole scene at once, but rather take in smaller sections or pieces of a place. Once back in the studio, I create a large amount of smaller drawings from memory, sketches or photos, edit and sort through them, create piles, study them closely and occasionally break or rip them in smaller pieces to study the parts of the whole before recombining them back into a single piece of work. By working in layers, my process is similar to the way memory functions. Using these layers, I can recall the way the mind orders specifics by pushing the less important elements to the hazy background and bringing the more important features to the foreground. The canvases mimic my ever-changing memory, with imagery that seems to move through space and time; images come forward and recede, some clearly, others obscurely. Thus, the canvas becomes the setting for imagery that is balanced between abstraction and representation, sharp or blurred, internal or external.
It is my goal to continue to cultivate my relationship to this land around me by destructing, dissecting, studying and lastly re-ordering and rebuilding all the elements into a singular reality. By creating this way, I will be able to further understand the human perception of the cyclical nature of landscape, its seasons and all its elements.
Born on a ranch in Wyoming, Tawni Shuler was enticed to paint and draw early on by the art of western painters Frederick Remington and Charlie Russell. She is a visiting artist at Sheridan College, where she teaches Painting and Drawing. Shuler is inspired by memories of growing up in Wyoming and experiencing the western landscape and its life cycles. She works primarily with painting and drawing materials, in addition to mixed media such as collected pieces of the landscape: bones, plants and dirt. Her work has been shown at the Northwest Art Center, Minot, ND; Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Augusta, GA; g2 Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; Harry Wood Gallery, Tempe, AZ; Gallery Blue, Missoula, MT; Gallery of Visual Art, Missoula, MT; Sinclair Gallery, Powell, WY; Zane Bennett Gallery, Santa Fe, NM. Most recently she was an artist-in-residence at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner, WY and the Brush Creek Residency Ranch Artist Foundation in Saratoga, WY.
Location: Gallery at Library Square
Contact Information: (801) 524-8200