Artist Statement: Joan Robey
Until a few years ago my work largely involved using recycled materials to create sculptural pieces. In 2019, however, I began making prints on Plexiglas, employing images derived from photographs taken at my home in the High Desert. Although the end results of these two art forms are wildly divergent, the underlying motivations and resulting conversations are basically very similar. And both, in effect, are assemblage processes intended to show objects in a new way, removed from their original context.
Regardless of medium, my concern is invariably with composition, with creating complex relationships by layering and juxtaposing objects or images. The materials I use are specifically selected for their textures, shapes and color. Circles, squares, rectangles, lines straight or diagonal are brought together in ways intended to serve as metaphors for psychological states and aspects of the human condition. In the photographs I take for my print pieces, instead of discarded objects my “materials” are shifting colors, layered natural elements and the interplay of deep shadows and brilliant light.
My home on Canyon Road provides me with an inspiring vantage point from which to observe how slowly but dramatically change happens in the High Desert. Landscapes that at first appear to be colorless and lifeless, when seen through a different “lens” appear incredibly vibrant and filled with life. The natural elements are so dynamic that one is constantly seeing the same things differently with the changing times of day, of the seasons, and of weather conditions. It is these changes and their juxtapositions and tensions that inspire me in the making of these prints.
Influenced by Kandinsky and Malevich’s discussions of the power of basic forms and shapes, I strive to find combinations that have the ability to reflect tensions that are strong and primal. Specifically, I would like the viewer to experience this work as if they were coming upon an act of chaos in midstream.