Judy Southerland


The art historical heritage for painted portraits is well known and my use of oval shapes is drawn from that legacy. I particularly noticed the use of oval gold matting forming a second frame within the rectangle, a device I noticed particularly in the historical southern portrait collection in the Birmingham Museum of Art. I knew I did not want to make representations of faces. And the curved lines forming the oval matts seemed a counter point to the straight lines of the rectangle. It caught my attention.


A collection of people surrounds us as we grow. Lucky or not, knowing it or not, they prepare us to go out and find our way. We all have these someones. Their messages, observed and absorbed, provide a springboard for these works. I decided a single color, if it carries touch, can convey meaning. With a hole and grommet for a mouth the loaded color making the Conveyors seems enough. Some Outliers have forms protruding from the mouth hole. I build these sculptural forms using toss away bits and pieces I decide to save, not knowing why.  It seems right, the unworthy taking form, becoming a visual testimony for a person's touch on our lives. Other Outliers are built using materials other than cotton canvas as a platform or as a primary material on the oval stretcher. I have used linen, wood, particle board, paper, cardboard, cellophne, plaster, wire, dry pigment, oil paint and other materials to realize a visual presense and personality. Often, these someones are organized into a Chorus or a Choir.



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