“Opposites are not necessarily either/or but rather might be both/and. The opposite of a shallow truth is a falsehood—the opposite of a profound truth is another profound truth.” Neils Bohr, physicist
A desire to work with larger themes required a change in point of view. I turned my eye in and pulled myself way out for the overview, as opposed to observing up close, and in these paintings, stripes, blocks and spheres are the distillation of previous highly articulated images.
The stripes began as fields observed from an airplane and my knowledge from childhood of those cyclical plowed patterns.
The grid is a signifier for cities in their organization and boundaries.
I took careful color notes on the seasons and on atmosphere; on local hues in stone, brick and paint, and on the light and it's companion darkness.
I exploited crossed forms and introduced an array of spheres to animate these fields of operation accomodating a union of opposites including desire, restraint; random events and focused effort.
Each painting ends with a two diagonal gestures--one black and curly, the other white and straight. I meditate before doing this and use a combination of oil and melted wax first one color, then the other, slung as hot liquid which freezes on contact with the air. The move counter balances a structural diagonal of light and shade forming an X; I wanted to complement all that slow build with something, risky, intimate and personal; the curly and straight signifies hair texture, a loaded visual symbol from my southern upbringing.
Carina Evangelista, curator, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art wrote the following about the tryptich:
"The precision that screenprinting demands can sometimes render images static but there is a surprising energy in these hand-pulled screenprints. The artist combines the distilled forms of abstraction that in the play of shapes and color animate the canvas with figuration that captures the intimate. Southerland likens the tension between slow build and the explosive gesture to the mysteries of the universe: the passing of time, coming into being, and the fading away of things and lives--how people “plowed ground, made quilts, repaired bad roads, made music, had fights, had babies, looked at the stars and buried the dead.” Remarking at the paradox of this amazing variety and vapid repetition, she finds the most interesting moments to be “the space in between” - that furtive glance that channels the power of divergent yet very real points of view such as “looking at the stars and down at your feet.”