new mixed media works on paper

Naomi Muirhead, "Fig. 1 (Perseids)", mixed media on paper, 70x100cm, 2013
Naomi Muirhead, “Fig. 1 (Perseids)”, mixed media on paper, 70x100cm, 2013

I found these German sewing patterns from the early 1900s in a flea market years ago in Slovenia while I was doing an artist residency. The old pinkish paper and the patterns printed on them attracted me, and I have saved them all these years to finally be able to use them in 3 collages. Seeing the printed pattern, its difficult to decipher how anyone would be able to visually follow the pattern in order to construct a garment. To me, they seem more like constellation maps which got me thinking…

Naomi Muirhead, "Fig. 1 (Perseids)", detail
Naomi Muirhead, “Fig. 1 (Perseids)”, detail

These collages (paper, acrylic paint, pen, thread) are greatly inspired by the work of Anselm Kiefer, especially the imagery of his Cette obscure clarté qui tombe des étoiles which I saw at the Collezione Gori outside of Pistoia, as well as his works of The Secret Lives of Plants series. Presently, there are numerous Kiefer exhibitions happening around the world including a small exhibition of his work in Città di Castello (near Arezzo) at the Burri Foundation, and a larger ones at the MASS MoCA, and the Museum of Art, Williams College, not to mention one held earlier this year at the Gagosian Gallery in NYC.

Naomi Muirhead, "Fig. 2 (Volumes)", mixed media on paper, 70x100cm, 2013
Naomi Muirhead, “Fig. 2 (Volumes)”, mixed media on paper, 70x100cm, 2013

The patterns and diagrams seem to be maps, making connections between arterial paths, perhaps constellations, or social structures, identities, and points of reference which mark beginnings and endings, looking for answers within spatial voids. There are overlapping transparencies, unspecified borders, frames, and vague definitions. The figures are like dancing instructions with intersections, detours, and dead-ends. They are navigation tools, flight patterns, geographical maps of distances.

Naomi Muirhead, "Fig. 2 (Volumes)", detail
Naomi Muirhead, “Fig. 2 (Volumes)”, detail

When we think of the sky, we think of undefined space which gives room to our dreams, and the act of dreaming, usually occurring at night. We seek light where there is darkness and the unknown, looking for identifiable truths. Our notion of space as uncharted territory seeks to be defined within our own personal universes.

Naomi Muirhead, "Fig. 3 (Stellar)", mixed media on paper, 70x100cm, 2013
Naomi Muirhead, “Fig. 3 (Stellar)”, mixed media on paper, 70x100cm, 2013

We can stitch together our own pathways and relational interactions in order to shape our own unique existence and personal pedigree.

Naomi Muirhead, "Fig. 3 (Stellar)", detail
Naomi Muirhead, “Fig. 3 (Stellar)”, detail

 

 

 

 

 

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