PAINTING | MIXED MEDIA
ARTIST STATEMENT: APRIL DRESSED IN ALL ITS TRIM
"The title is from The Wasteland, “April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.” As I worked I was thinking about the overlay of the visible with what is invisible to us, as well as the overlay of color with black and white. Possibly because of early photography my memories are sometimes in black and white. Imagery as early as ‘Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry” in France and Peter Bruegel in the Netherlands expressed the connection between human society and the seasons. Since the beginning of agrarian societies, certainly in temperate latitudes, April has been the month of beginning, a time of planting and hope, of the renewal of life. When I think of April I think of planting."
— Mona Marshall
ARTIST STATEMENT: POINT OF ENTRY SERIES
"I am accustomed to cities and the certainty of knowing where I am on the grid, so it is.
always disconcerting to walk through a hilly rural landscape and notice that a particular
landmark may be at one moment ahead and another far to the left. If the overall
direction of the path or river or cliff is known | hold fast to the illusion that the direction should be constant. I think part of the satisfaction of long hikes comes when | let go of
the expectation of predictability. In that sense a country walk can be similar to a dream.
You could argue that the way we perceive and remember physical space is more a
function of mind than of the exterior reality. Otherwise, how could we dream in exquisite detail of a room or building of which we have no conscious memory?
It's not unusual to dream of architecture. One odd characteristic of my dreams is that I
am rarely aware of how one room is situated in relation to the whole, or more to the
I am not aware of the whole at all, and yet space is clearly important to my
dreaming self. One of my first memories of my grandmothers’ house was a dark
stairway to the attic. The stairway itself was impossibly steep and curved for no obvious
reason. As a child I had no mental plan of the house and the way that stairwell fit in the
exterior shell, so anything was possible.
The new series of drawings is a continuation of my interest in the way we perceive physical space. I want to draw what I perceive, not as an engineer who has an overall
map and a cognitive grasp of the space, but like the walker who overcomes that expectation of predictability."
— Mona Marshall, 2003
Mona Marshall of Austin Texas studied at Tyler School of Art in Rome and earned her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been exhibited in SanFrancisco, L.A., N.Y. and Texas. She has received first place awards in the “International Encaustic Exhibition” and in “Celebrating Texas Art." Marshall has been granted four residencies at the MacDowell Colony, and was a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. She became a Master Naturalist in Austin in 2012. In 2019 Marshall was invited to participate in two exhibitions in South Korea--Draw Engrave Make, in Suncheon, and Present Tense, in Incheon.
Marshall has long had an interest in the relationship of the natural world with human enterprise. The work for her show Three Stories About Water at Southwest School of Art, tells stories of the absence of water, the beneficence of water deep underground, and the paths water travels.
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GEOMETRY | 62" x 60" Encaustic on prepared paper - "SKIN DEEP, drawings of encaustic on prepared paper. These days our immediate shared experience is distant from the picture of the world we see in the newspapers. There is certainly a dissonance between my own life and the larger world. As if a mirror of these thoughts, the “skin” of my drawings, the encaustic, has become less dominant and the under painting has asserted itself. The nature of the medium that I am using, that of a layer of wax hiding or masking the under painting, led me to think of the duality of our public and private lives. I chose the title, Skin Deep, because so much of what we experience in our lives is a fabrication constructed from and simultaneously masking an invisible infrastructure, because so much of what we believe to be reality hides the labor and environmental costs that make our comforts possible. Skin Deep alludes to the corporeal. Skin, as in hide, is fragile and easily torn or cut. It is generated by what is underneath and can be destroyed by it as well." - Mona J. Marshall, 2007