HILARY LORENZ

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Artist Statement / Future Project

 

My art on paper draws from my experience hiking, living, and surviving in the wilderness. I visually translate these visceral experiences into built environments, made up of linoleum block printed and cut paper, watercolor and natural fibers.

The artwork records my perambulations and the circulation of ideas. When I am carving a linoleum block, I relive each step I have walked or ran with a single knife cut. Instilled in every carved stroke of my block is the direct translation of a particular journey. The resulting artwork is floor to ceiling layers of linoleum block printed mountains, rivers, rocks, birds, animals, trees, plants, and more. These are items found in nature, intrinsically imbued with energy that usher viewers into a rich world of wilderness fantasy. My environments are sensory experiences where one can escape from urban stress or their own mental chaos.

As an interdisciplinary artist, I create artwork using printmaking, drawing, installation, and combinations thereof. I use GPS tracking and photography to record my treks. In “Tracing Nature,” shown at Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York in 2011, I created a 56foot wall installation of linoleum block printed mountains. It was a direct result of roaming the Cradle Mountains in central Tasmania, Australia, for six weeks while on an artist’s residency. I ran the trails, climbed the mountains, and recorded my experiences with GPS, photography, and drawing, creating a personal, corporeal memory reflecting the landscape.

In 2014, I made a built environment specifically for the Sunroom Gallery at Wave Hill Public Garden and Cultural Center in the Bronx, which revolved around walking explorations of the center’s extensive gardens and nearby Harriman State Park. I collaged and layered cut paper to form a 12-foot mountain. There were 4,000 individual leaves that clung to and wrapped around three gallery walls exposing, at times, roaring bears and meandering coyotes. A year later for the Courthouse Galley in Lake George, New York, I drew from my time hiking in the Adirondacks and grew the artwork to include rivers, lakes, moose, and a canoe.

My current project into January 2017, "Birding" commissioned by Brooklyn Bridge Park is an investigation and record of daily walks along the park observing the numerous birds in their natural habitat and creating these scenes in a public work the spans over 60 feet.

My future plan, built on a 23year art practice, is to expand the complexity and scale ofmy built environments.

Every environment I make is based on a hike, and in this case it will be a 30day self sustained backpack trip on the John Muir Trail—an opportunity to generate the sensory experiences and additional raw materials necessary for me to create more complex built environments. John Muir Trail is a 210mile wilderness trek along California’s High Sierra Mountains. Beginning at the north trailhead in Yosemite Valley, I will walk for 30 days to the southern terminus at Mount Whitney, camping along the way. This trail holds an enormous diversity in landscape and in weather.

Based on photographs and sketches from the JMT hike, I will carve linoleum and print the mountains, rivers, animals, and rocks, infusing them with my emotional and physical experience of the journey. The prints will be cut into pieces and layered onto walls, floors and ceilings, creating a story of adventure, wonderment, and fantasy, similar to my work samples from Wave Hill, Courthouse Gallery, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Each time I create a built environment, I increase the complexity. For the JMT work and future environments, I plan to introduce three-dimensional pieces and sophisticated interactive pieces to immerse the participant in my own personal wilderness.

Being in nature fuels my artwork. I believe that out-of-doors experiences whether real or fabricated, can completely transform our emotions and invoke fantasy, even if for a fleeting moment.

Artist Residencies Stonetrigger Press Etsy
 

all contents copyright 2006 Hilary Lorenz. All Rights Reserved, updated 11/2016