M A Y S E Y C R A D D O C K
We think of land as solid and immutable, heavy and dense with proscribed edges and borders (geological, political, cultural, personal), but it shifts as drastically and permanently as anything in our natural world. Coastlines and wetlands are especially vulnerable to change: the ravages of storms, natural erosion, marshes’ and estuaries’ fragility and, of course, man’s manipulation of the land. We shore up, close in, confine and try to tame this ribbon of tenuous border between land and sea, and any remaining patches of wild and verdant coast diminish steadily. Forming and unforming, these spaces unfold and regenerate ceaselessly, fragmenting into reflection and continually settling into new iterations of themselves.
My gouache on found paper paintings are reflections of this idea of making and unmaking in the natural world. I work from imagery based on my own photographs of ephemeral landscapes: places where water meets land, where fallen trees are swallowed by their reflection, where the horizon dissolves into sky. From these images, intricate and abstracted drawings are rendered as linear disintegrations of form and then transferred onto a substrate of sewn-together fragments of found paper. My process of making and unmaking multiplies in both materiality and image, mirroring the natural and geological processes that inform my work. These sculptural, stitched together surfaces, with their layers of painting and drawing, are like the palimpsests I seek in the landscape: strata of meaning and experience in a specific place. These works offer a visual back and forth, a tidal ebb and flow that presents diminishing and fragile wild spaces as ever-shifting repositories for impermanence, reclamation and the inevitability of change.