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Shaun Whiteside

Artist Statement Submitted 2017

My work explores the metaphysical or emotional realm through a painting process that employs physical forces. I depict emotional energies such as grief, despair, isolation, and anxiety by utilizing physical energies such as gravity, water erosion, and sedimentation. I use the visual forms that develop to depict emotional forces and energies that are unseen but very real powers in the world. My creative process acts as a metaphor for the themes of powerlessness that inspire my work.
Both the emotions I depict and the process I use are rooted in natural energies; therefore I refer to my work as a New Naturalism. Rather than using 'naturalism' in reference to a precise duplication of nature's outward appearance, I explore a concept of naturalism that involves obedience to natural forces. In the words of Robert Motherwell, “one might say that the true way to 'imitate' nature is to employ its own processes.”

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