MARY-ANN KOKOSKA

ARTIST STATEMENT
My recent work addresses the changing nature of landscape and our altered perception of it, in response to global warming.   In so doing I revisit and question the traditions of a picturesque vista in light of recent climactic events.  I am particularly interested in currents of water and air, specifically the effects of monster storms and tornados.  The resulting build up of clouds, torrential rains, high winds and tidal surges are the subjects for my imagery

My work represents an environment in flux through the medium and process of drawing and collage.  These processes are most appropriate for conveying the instability of our global climate through their immediacy and malleability.  I compose in fragments, bits of representation and pieces of paper. Shapes are loosely organized, intentionally ambiguous and open ended such that one merges into another. Here I refer to sketches of nature and landscape, insects, animal and aquatic life. In times when such traditional processes are neglected in place of new technology, written and drawn observations continue to be important to me.  The resulting images show allusions to a branch, a cloud, a tentacle, a snout, a tongue, a fin to name a few. Landscape is presented as animal, in a restless mutant form. The viewer makes associations via the fragments of information given. But the image is never given in its entirety. I deliberately play with ambiguity and uncertainty reflecting the instability of our current situation in nature.  

The installation format and grand scale is intended to fully engage, overwhelm and even consume the viewer. It verges on being a spectacle and touches on characteristics of the Sublime. I often reference dramatic imagery in art history such as Leonardo's cataclysmic storms and deluges, Casper-David Friedrich's Sea of Ice and Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa to elicit an emotional response and contextualize meaning. In addition I appropriate photographs of natural disasters from news media and current events.

www.maryannkokoska.com

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