March – April Artist: Robert Sunderman
Fine Artist, Scenic Designer & Associate Processor of Theater Design, ISU
Fine Art Statement:
The sketches and paintings in this exhibition are studies that I have worked on over the past eleven years that reflect personal experiences but also capture the beautiful structure of the skeletal nature of trunks and branches of trees. In landscapes and specifically trees I see personalities that show the wear and tear of life. Each tree/landscape has its own story to tell and I try to bring that out through contrasts, elimination of color and textures. The tree subjects become gestural in form, shape and composition. I am asking the viewer what human feelings and emotions can you see in this work? How can you relate to them on an emotional personal level?
Renewal, fleeting moments and human effects on our environment are issues that I continually address in my work. Presently I am creating my ideas and reflections through a series of paintings, assemblage sculpture, photography and soon installations. Not limiting myself to specific materials is so important in my work so I use any and all materials that can best convey the subject or story. I see things as ever changing and evolving.
Phone photography is area I have been experimenting with recently. Life in our contemporary society moves so fast that we rarely take time to notice or capture a single beautiful moment. Moving my phone camera quickly under certain types of light quality and contrast conditions creates a sense of movement and change. The true feeling and meaning of the moment is brought out through the use of photoshop. I want to preserve the pure quick glimpse of time on the move. The viewer should ask the question… Where is it? Why did it happen and want took place there?
The assemblage sculpture is an ongoing experiment creating new stories and life by finding what different objects want to say when placed together. I use found materials, natural materials and various paint mediums to tell stories that are personal or contemporary to our society. Usually they are environment statements. The materials are manipulated and changed to work as a cohesive statement and usually take on an aged distressed look. The intent is to create a feel of something of the past “a relic” that is transformative. The most recent series I am working on is called shattered glass reconstruction. The reflective question I am asking is…. What can we do with the pieces to reconstruct a struggling new beautiful world?
The overall goal I am trying to achieve with my work is trying to let people see things in a way they might not have thought about before. I want to increase their awareness of how important our environment is and how we fit into the cycle of life. The reflective questions I would like people to ask themselves when viewing the work is…How can we transform to be better participants in the cycle of life on this earth? How can I better understand and appreciation this special world we live in and not take it for granted?