Artists in residence with artistay
Koehn, Krysten: Painter/Printmaker, Switzerland
Saturday, 19 November 2011
City and country
Sunday, 20 February 2011
Duration of my residency
Reason(s) of the residency
Working out of the usual context
Uninterrupted time and space to create
What was my residency project?
During graduate school, my work was primarily grounded by the idea that
experience precedes the conception of symbols, which, when perceived,
become capable of exuding presence independent from that of the
experiences that led to their conception. In theory, the viewer’s sensory
perception of a painting would be the same as the experience that led to the conception of the painting. However, due to the nature of presence, the painting, being an autonomous object, became something to be perceived
by the senses and so transmitted a new and independent phenomenal
presence. In this way, my previous body of works took my specific
experiential feeling and placed it into the whole in which individual viewers could find their own and from which they could draw their own.
This disconnection from figurative subject matter was essential to my work.
For the two years between the time at which I earned my MA and my current
position teaching art in Switzerland, I lived, worked and traveled in the
Middle East. This experience was critically formative to my identity as a
person and an artist. No longer do I hold sacred the idea that every person must be able to relate to my work so intimately on their own terms--that it is a superior work that renders the experience of the artist less important than that of the viewer. It now seems necessary, or even obligatory, to express my experience in the Middle East in a way that is divergent from that of my previous work--more specifically, my pictures have taken a figurative turn. Perhaps, before, I did not consciously feel I had something so vital and significant to share, making my own life experience less important and the idea of others’ personal connection to my work more so. But my season in the Middle East metamorphosed my life into something so wholly unfamiliar that, as one who makes her experiences tangible by way of the image, it seems appropriate to do so in an equally unfamiliar way.
My residency allowed me to continue working in this way, figuratively addressing the experience of a Western woman living in the Islamic world and the perceptions attached to such a life. My primary media since relocating overseas have been the visual journal and monotype, primarily due to limited space and resources. The residency allowed for these smaller works to act as points of departure for large-scale mixed media paintings.
Funding of the residency
My opinion on artistay's service:
Wonderful--very helpful and artist-centered.