Human Marks

For the past decade now, my work has largely been concerned with the marks left by humans and their art upon their environment. It is also about nature’s marks on humankind’s traces and upon nature itself.

My ideas come from a gathering together of experiences, particularly SEEING images that have a kind of pull or tug for me, with a sense of time, history, weathering, and aesthetic qualities. Some important places have been Italy, Germany, Finland, and Hornby Island, Alberta hoodoos and Royal Tyrrell Museum in Canada, and research on rock art from books and the internet.

Taking photographs when possible is a way of gathering materials and archiving images for possible future use in artmaking. Later, in the image-making process I respond again to certain collected photographs with a flash of intuition and excitement (inspiration?) when I see the connections between seemingly disparate imagery and discovering serendipitious things.

These works rarely show human figures except as indirectly represented, as in some rock art images, but there is a strong sense of human presence in the work. For example, this presence is very strong in Nexus IX & Nexus X.

“Nexus” means connections. I am intrigued by the multitude of connections between the past and present, between places, and even within my own work over many years of artmaking. I often reuse my past images in new combinations as I keep discovering new threads.

January 9, 2004 in Being an Artist, Concepts, Nexus by Marja-Leena