Elaine Tolsma Harlow: Motherland

  • January 7, 2019
  • Covenant Fine Arts Center Art Gallery

Motherland: We live in a world of constant motion, that causes our histories to blend with those around us, where the idea of home shifts and our identity with it. At some point in our lives, most of us leave home and some never return. There are those who leave by choice, some by desperation, and others have the decision made for them. My work is asking questions about home, community, and who is our neighbor. With these paintings, I am creating a visual history using layers of wax (encaustics), paint and paper to explore a balance between the past and present. The layers of wax are built up and scraped down, searching for balance, to find unity in chaos. This process creates depth through color and texture. The visual histories that are created with these layers, upon further exploration, bear witness to more than at first glance. In the abstract compositions, I refer to online maps, looking at the patterns of land from above to inform the construct of each piece. I use strips of maps in the collage work to construct nests representing a safe place, something tangible and whole. The patterns and designs of these works are created from the topography of different points of the world, showing not only the beauty, but the interconnection we have.

Elaine Tolsma Harlow, 2019

Elaine Tolsma Harlow: Motherland Exhibition Reception: Friday, February 15, 6-9 p.m. Refreshments served and all are welcome!

image: Continental Divide, 24" x 24" Mixed Media, maps, oils, wax on panel,  2018