annie varnot


Artist Statement 2011

My artistic practice is characterized by an unconventional use of nontraditional materials accumulating into sculptures and installations. Often the choice of material as well as the process of making is significant to the content of the work. Although sculptural in form, my work is influenced by my background in drawing and painting, and often uses these practices too. For example, the site-specific installation Private Mail, records daily experience in a non-linear continuum through the accumulation of 1000 intimate drawings on tiny envelopes.

Currently I am involved in two bodies of work. In the first I fuse brightly colored drinking straws together to create fantastical landscapes, paying particular interest to the colors much like a pointillist painter. These landscapes merge the discarded physical realities of consumerist culture with the emotional connection to land. While referencing nature in dual states of idealism and destruction, it is my aim through the accumulation of this material to evoke glowing topographies, New York City biota, swelling oceans with human habitations, and luminous coral reefs.

The second body of work began in 2008 when I was an artist in residence at Ross Creek Center for the Arts in Nova Scotia. I had recently been diagnosed with a serious illness and was looking for ways to express my inability to process the possibility of death. I connected with the chicken egg as an artistic material that could act as a metaphor for my vulnerable psychological and physical experience. My goal is to hollow 13,000 unsellable chicken eggs and create a dwelling from them where one may contemplate the impermanence of life and heal from traumatic experiences. In the meantime, the eggs have infiltrated other, more discrete, pieces.