Friday, April 9, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: “It’s Not What You Thought” in the Julian Scott Gallery of Johnson State College

Karen Rand Anderson’s
MFA thesis exhibit

March 29 – April 17, 2010

“It’s Not What You Thought” in the Julian Scott Gallery of Johnson State College

“What is the nature of meaningful relationship?” This is how Karen Rand Anderson’s artist statement begins. Her work currently in the Julian Scott Memorial Gallery of Johnson State College from March 29 – April 17, 2010 exhibits carefully broken chairs, dangling rocks, dream-like imagery, and a crib-sized bed filled with moss and stacked stones.

Her installation of drawing and sculpture pulls our attention toward a surreal world where things are familiar yet disturbed – through them, we see the internal workings of metaphor and thought. In the realm of her draftsmanship (her drawings are based on her sculptures), Karen Rand Anderson underscores the importance of objects as metaphors.

“What does a chair represent? A bed? A boat? Chairs are safe places to rest. We sit in them to contemplate, or share conversation with others. Beds are for sleeping and

dreaming in, alone or with another. A bed offers a place for recovery and healing, as well as the ultimate place to share intimacy, sex, secrets and the safety of sleeping with another person. Boats are vessels in which to journey; journeying leads to discovery of the unknown. A relationship is a vessel in which we are journeying with another. Cairns—piles of stones—are used as waypoints on a journey, and as markers for burial sites.”

In the words of poet/psychologist/writer Daphne Rose Kingma (again from her artist statement), “A relationship is a configuration of connection. It is the container in which we mix ourselves with others, the container in which, together with them, we hold ourselves in a certain way.”

“Ultimately,” Karen says, “the underlying element [of a meaningful relationship] is trust. This extends to objects as well: when we sit down, we trust the chair. When we lie down, we trust the bed. When we are in relationship with another person, we trust each other. For a relationship between two people to develop and flourish, trust is paramount.”

“Thematically, this body of work is an exploration of relationship: between self and another, self and self, and self and the relationship; the relationship as object. Instability and danger are visually present; text as markmaking inks in emotion and question. Symbols, metaphor and conceptual nuance reference tension, emotional paradox and irony. It is up to you, the viewer, to create your own story around this work, discovering that perhaps “it’s not what you thought.”