Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
My recent work juxtaposes dualities such as natural/artificial, macro/micro, instantaneous/changing, and conscious/unconscious. As a process oriented artist, I enjoy creating tactile, illusionistic surfaces by building translucent layers through calligraphic gestures. This includes drawings on stone, mushrooms, wood panel, and paper using silverpoint, copperpoint, prismacolor, acrylic, ink, watercolor, graphite, charcoal, tusche, clay, eggshells, coffee, and tea. From afar, the background washes appear random and chaotic, but as one approaches intricate details engage the curious in multiple surprises. The silverpoint, which will tarnish and darken over time, is most evident against the white gesso ground as synthesized forms representing images the viewer can interpret in a myriad of ways. These visual combinations of opposites can be seen as mechanical animals, artificial skeletal joints, or more conceptually as a mirror for the logical aspect of consciousness operating in the act of interpretation. The representational elements serve as a form of traction for the logical mind to enter into the non-objective and find a relaxed state not unlike in meditation. These springboard images are furthermore derived from mechanical devices such as pulley systems, camming devices, tackles, ancient knots that can equalize or provide mechanical advantages, and finally a larger category comprised of selections taken from natural history. This latter classification includes investigations in archeology/anthropology, mammaology, entomology, ornithology, and geology. Stone has been an important representative of earth science and was the genesis for inquiries into different perceptions of time, fractals, and the possibilities of exposing subconscious traces of genetic memories from our ancestors. When contemplating my compositions, I think about the collective associations of stone including grave markers, monuments, religious examples like the ka'aba, the alchemical lapith, the philosopher's stone, and as the psychoanalytic idea of a stone representing the self as an unchanging whole. Furthermore, throughout time, stones have held hereditary significance, protective properties, and an inherent aesthetic beauty ranging from rough cave paintings to smooth marble statues. In my pursuit, I have used similar textures, images, and used specific cues to attempt to open a door to a recognition of that which you have always known.
Croghan, Nicholas 1981-, "Drawing as an investigation of perception." (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 292.