Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Momentum Artist: Liz Green

Liz Green, Tulsa
Intersection and
Drawing Files
Acrylic on Canvas, Digital
Q: What were your concepts behind your works?
LG: At the moment I'm focused on addressing various personal conflicts arising from my status as a recent immigrant to this country; primarily the challenges posed by a radical change in environment, which might on the surface seem a very pedestrian issue but affects me in innumerable ways, emotionally and physically, daily. One of my two works accepted to Momentum Tulsa 2009, Intersection, was an early foray into a larger, ongoing project intended to describe my difficulties in adjusting to a very different physical environment. I was born and raised in a very small cathedral city in the south of England (Winchester). So urban Tulsa is a huge change - the vast amount of open space, low buildings and open roads are very alien to me, as I am to them, being used to the narrow, rain-washed, cobbled alleyways of my birthplace, a city I could navigate happily on foot. I've likened the move to choosing to wear a very beautiful, long desired pair of shoes which are three sizes too big - they are gorgeous, loved and wanted for a very long time, but my feet do not fit them!

The other piece accepted, Drawing Flies, is a digital piece rooted in previous works, an artistic attempt to anchor myself in the familiar despite the huge changes my life has undergone in the past few years. Art can sometimes be a safe haven, particularly when revisiting familiar faces, characters or themes; it can be something that remains static and comforting despite the radical changes that might occur outside of it.

Q: Explain the technique and/or process you used for the pieces.
LG: I'm primarily a digital painter, working in Corel Painter 9 and, to a lesser extent, Open Canvas 1.1, though recently I've been drawn to traditional painting. I often prep for traditional paintings by making several sketches digitally, utilizing digital's lack of mess and infinite quantities of virtual paint to explore theme, composition and ideas before committing anything to canvas. I also spent a large amount of time rifling through materials collected from my hometown (photos, drawings, scraps of paper and many other oddments I tend to collect like a magpie) and mixing and matching those with materials collected in my new home, finding contrast and common ground. Lots of sketches, both digital and traditional, are made before I'm prepared to commit to canvas, though working on a digital or traditional canvas is always an exercise in development. I'm inclined to allow a painting to lead me as well as exercising my will over it, so it becomes a game of give and take, a dialogue in which the final result is, pleasantly, not always entirely what I expect or intend.

The only other thing I really desperately require to get to work is lots of very loud music. I absolutely can't work at all without it!

Momentum Tulsa 2009 includes visual art by artists aged 30 and younger. The exhibition is free and open at Living Arts, 307 E Brady, Tulsa, until October 24. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Sunday 1-5 pm, until 9 pm on Thursday and Friday.

Curators Scott Perkins & Frank Wick selected 93 artworks by 66 artists from all over the state for the exhibition. Also, three Spotlight artists created bodies of work on display, Nick Bayer, Dustin Boise, and Emily Kern. Intern Ashley Romano interviewed the artists to learn about their creative process. Watch for more profiles throughout the run of the exhibition.

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