Ann Wood

posArtist statement

My work generally incorporates two- and three-dimensional pieces into immediate and dramatic environments that border on Installation. These environments have a Baroque/Rococo visual appeal and dramatically reference topiaries, floral bouquets, and desserts as well as historical painting and sculpture. While they initially seem traditionally "pretty" and look as if they might taste "yummy," they tend to slowly reveal a disturbing underbelly—there are both hidden and obvious vignettes of danger, death, deception, and decay woven throughout (and you definitely would not want to eat anything after a second look).

In fact, themes of decadence and over-indulgence quickly become sickening. In the two-dimensional work, embroidered, heroic animals hang from bows or lie dead in a symmetrical embrace, decaying and swarmed by flies, à la Spanish and Dutch still lives (or dead nature paintings). Sculptural animals are frozen in a moment of ultimate humiliation, covered with what appears to be frosting, flowers, and bows. Still other animals are intertwined in ambiguous poses—are they fighting to the death or mating?—calling attention to the thin line between love and hate and the spectacle of violence as entertainment. When this is coupled with the playful and fairy tale-esque visual nature of the work, a sense of attraction/repulsion is created. While the gooey, almost edible quality of the environment may be inviting, it is also easy to imagine the work as a dangerous and baited trap. This is further enhanced by the fact that many of the animals "trapped" in the goo are actual hunting decoys meant to lure other animals in for the kill or taxidermy mannequins serving as subtle reminders of a violent, undignified death.

The process and materials used are also important in the concept and aesthetic quality of my work. Both my two- and three-dimensional works rely heavily on embroidery, scrapbooking materials, thread, and kitsch, "craft-store" objects like fake flowers, sequins, pom-poms, fake jewels, and puffy paint. In the spirit of dichotomies, I contrast this handmade "women's work" with "masculine" industrial materials like rubber, plastic, and foam as well as hunting decoys and taxidermy mannequins. Using embroidery as a medium, my two-dimensional work reinterprets the traditionally male-created historic painting in a contemporary and feminine way. My "frosting" coated, large-scale sculpture twists the idea of monument into a feminine, animal-shaped super-cake that simultaneously reminds the viewer of the discordant ideas of nurture and humiliation.

posShowings at KHFA

Group exhibition: Group Exhibition
Solo exhibition: Deathbeds
Solo exhibition: Gild

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