The mixed media drawings serve as portals to an interior landscape; a place where memory and imagination mingle and proliferate. The merging of botanical and anatomical forms creates abstract hybrids and intuitive juxtapositions. I draw upon motifs of personal significance, most notably from the landscape, artefacts and memories I associate with the Hawaiian Islands, my birthplace. More recently I have been incorporating images of real and conjured figures. Traces of ancestors, archetypes and alter egos are rediscovered within objects, documents, stories and photographs, and I fill in any gaps with my imagination.
Although the works are seeded with figurative references, the images evolve over time through a process of building onto and reworking the compositions. The accumulation of marks and pigment creates a layered image that represents a distillation of many thoughts, decisions and actions over time. The original forms continue to exert a subliminal presence from within the work, seeping up to the surface and leaving traces throughout the finished piece.
The immense flexibility of my working process, and the nuance and detail achievable through simple materials are central aspects of the work. Tone, gesture and quality of mark are guiding factors in its development. The use of colour and collage introduces other sensory dimensions, and I often select a particular pigment or material because it triggers a chain of associations that move the meaning forward.
Artist Bio / CV
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. Attended University of Hawaii, University of California at Santa Cruz and The University of Iowa (MA, MFA in painting, 1989). Moved to England in 1989 and currently resides in Brighton, East Sussex. Recent exhibitions include Reunion, Rochester Gallery, Kent, 2006 (two-person) and Draw: Recent Work by Hal Lum and Karin Mori, The Contemporary Museum at First Hawaiian Center, Honolulu, 2005.