The constructed scenes in my work function as a fragmented narrative, nostalgic manipulations of fictionalized memory. Objects and materials accumulate and condense, mutating into the pseudo-organic forms of miniature landscapes reminiscent of the mountainous terrain of my childhood.
I have developed a collection of objects and materials that work together in a kind of repeating vocabulary pool, continually learned and reassembled. My materials, concepts, and amalgamated imagery have awkward notions toward a ‘symbolic nature’ and ‘found home’. Rhinestones repeat to form geode-like interiors to cardboard box shells. Silhouetted mountain contours become fragments of rolling ranges, lifted out of the map grid and into leaning bits of wood and architecture. Narratives of barn supports, slopes, moving through to beam and branch and tree patterns, only to resolve back to an architectural arch and then into a dark frozen pool.
Spending a lifetime accumulating objects, intentionally and unintentionally, in the form of colors, textures, and shapes much in the same way we store our memories; my imagery is found in the place where these things collide and confuse to make places out of piles and objects out of inherited geography. Each investigation in mixed media explores what I can perceive of bucolic surroundings in my range of vision, how it can seem vast and unreal. The same vastness can be found in a stack of dishes or folds of a blanket, the running of electrical wiring over great floor plains, both casual and unable to exist any other way, fixed orientations, landmarks. These are creating natural domestic formations just as boulders cling to mountainsides.
It’s with these objects, terrain based perceptions, or fantasies, that I make props for nostalgic ideals. They fall just short of utopic and land slightly awkward, executed with an approach for the ‘built’ that is rooted in collecting, play, and material variety.
Audrey Hasen Russell grew up in East Tennessee at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains on the family farm. She received a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and an MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI. She has been included in recent exhibitions at Lesley Heller Workspace, NY, NY; Dorsch Gallery, Miami, FL; Philadelphia Art Alliance, PA; and Nurture Art, Brooklyn, NY. Solo projects include Back Property at The University of Wyoming, Laramie; Slant Branch Souvenir (Thinkin’ on You) at WaveHill, Bronx, NY; and Sentimental Canoe at ADA Gallery, Richmond, VA. Audrey was honored to participate in residencies at SculptureSpace in Utica, NY and the Robert MacNamara Foundation, Westport Island, ME.
Audrey currently lives and works way out in Queens, NY.
Gallery sites : www.dorschgallery.com