Artwork:Overview Artist Statement
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Mud: Estuary / Phase V (2007)


Plunge: Estuary / Phase IV (2006)


Estuary / Phase III (2006)

Estuary / Phase I (2004)

Lens/Gravity (2003)

History I & II (2001 / 2002)

The Body is a Book (2000)

Splitting the Apple (1998)

Balancing Acts (1997)

Breathing Under Water (1996)

I walk on land (1995)


Artist Statement 2004 – 2007

For several years my artwork has been inspired by estuaries.  I’ve been exploring flow patterns, saturation, and sedimentation in liquid media.  I have traveled by kayak and on foot up sloughs, along shores, among reeds and through mud to study wetlands.  I have used water, salt, mud, and reeds in my studio experiments.  My concerns are about flow and form.  These images reflect our cellular structure as much as the shape of estuaries. Estuaries are a mix of salt and fresh water, similar to our own intercellular fluid.  The rhythmic exchange between land and water gives us a rich metaphor for dynamic equilibrium.  The cyclic nature of tidal marshlands is a reflection of our own cycles and rhythms.

I have been constructing a series of multi-sensory installations with hanging panels that are touchable, move in response to the viewer’s movements, and in some cases can be walked upon.  The scroll form suggests story or language; the images invite a journey through their details.  My newest work includes pendulums and spinning sculptures which speak more literally about the cycles of the moon and tides, and the movements of water and mud.  I am juxtaposing moving images against still images to suggest interrelationship that is physical, kinesthetic, and ever changing.

I am suggesting a different view of ourselves, our inner nature, and our relationship to outer nature.  Our control of nature in agribusiness and development has been paralleled by our fragmented and controlling view of our bodies and our health.  The health of our waterways is one of the most important ecological concerns facing us. With my artwork I want to invite a perceptual shift: self-recognition and embracing our fluid nature can potentially change the way we regard both our own health and the health of our environment.

Artist Statement 1990 - 2004

These drawings emerge out of a fifteen-year investigation with drawing as a means of mapping and a crucible for inquiry: what is it to be a soul with a body? Can I record the experience accurately rather than “realistically”? The body experienced is a very different body from the one that we can see with our eyes. This process of questioning perception seems to tap into a collective body and a collective mind with infinite guises and expressions.

I work with both hands, and sometimes with eyes closed -- less a drawing technique than a drawing foray or approach. Drawing with two hands brings in the whole body-mind, and the visual result is an odd, liquid 3-dimensionality, similar to vision with two eyes, but with a different sense of form and space. Drawing in this way reveals but doesn't name. I call my approach “Somatic Drawing” (“somatic” refers to the body as a multi-layered experience). Presence in the act of drawing brings a presence to the image.

Paper seems to hold so much about the human need to communicate. Paper is still made of the most basic natural materials. It is like skin, and it is related inextricably to the ancient roots of language. Drawing also shares its roots with written words and characters. To make a mark has meaning, even if the meaning is not known before the mark is made. Drawing is an open language, unavoidably human and culturally eclectic. The naked mark on paper is the essence of our longing to connect.


All Content ©2007 Rebecca Haseltine