Luke Watson: Cycle Circle


Artist Statement

For my project proposal, I am envisioning a large circular substrate of metal or wood to support an immersive painting. The painting will continue the themes of anthropic and ecological tensions I have been working with for the last few years but expand into a more narrative style while expanding the painterly vocabulary. The circular painting will depict changing ecologies, representations of idealized but manufactured environments that are punctuated by resilient ecological succession creeping into the reproductions. My work
previously has been landscapes of model trees I create from paper, a representation of an ecosystem devoid of life created from material extracted from an environment like that which is depicted. This immersive panel will show this manufactured environment in a new light with real plant-life growing, decaying and overcoming the static reproductions as well as expanding the visual vocabulary of how these environments are created. I plan to fade in and out of more natural and more synthetic environments as well as shifting materials of the source models to suggest the stories of nature’s resilience in the face of humanity’s exploitations.


As stated above this project would be an expansion upon themes I have been exploring previously and still am interested in developing. This project would be a more ambitious development in that direction both conceptually and physically. Conceptually it would challenge me to design a work that is more narrative and push me to find new ways to depict and contrast materials to tell that story. Physically the work would expand my interest in making immersive paintings that bridge the gap between object work and installation. A way to make a single work immersive while still existing on its own. The types of landscape I am most drawn to are close environments that feel like your own secret place when you exist within them. While I love sprawling vistas, groves, glens, and clearings can feel knowable and connect
you to an environment in a more personal and way, a place you can care for and have a reciprocal relationship with rather than be simply awed by the expanse. For me bordering object and installation rhymes with that sentiment as an immersive space that is still bounded
and seemingly knowable. It is a line I am interested in exploring more.


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