JUSTINE SKAHAN, MFA '16, Thesis Exhibition, An Ordered Absence, Central Art Garage

Exhibition: August 12th to 27th, 2016
Opening reception: Friday, August 12, 2016, 7-10PM

My painting practice consists of a range of reoccurring subjects, most importantly architecture, landscape, domestic animals, and visual representations of gender. My interest in these emerges from a desire to question their construction: their physical making as well as the way we project our own conceptions onto them with varying degrees of accuracy.
My choices of subject matter are motivated by something felt rather than explicitly stated, and my methods for gathering source material is as varied as the content. I use personal photographs, film stills, online news stories, internet image searches, magazine and newspaper content, and imagined abstract spaces as raw materials for the work. Pop culture and the suburban landscape are both rich areas of source material for me. They are inescapable, and provide an abundance of the qualities I am drawn to in my everyday visual field: humour, foreboding and the absurd.
One of the primary driving forces behind my work is the act of painting itself. It is a physical and mental process that allows me to deconstruct the subject matter that I am addressing. Constructing an image also allows me to think through what exists below the surface of things or question what has caused dissonant natural or manufactured elements to be joined together.
The individual works are organized so as to form multiple relationships that extend the process of construction. The installation also serves to amplify the content of individual works. In these ways, the relationships formed find parallels in the structures of language and location of meaning.