Alaina M. Plowdrey
Hideki Kihata, Chair
Alaina M. Plowdrey
University Art Gallery
Big Birds & Masks
|They Pear Their Own Nails|
Cynthia Foley resides in Cadillac, Michigan. She has a bachelor of Arts from Albion College, and currently teaches art K-12 in the Cadillac Public Schools. Cynthia has been featured in many gallery exhibitions, including: Grove Gallery, East Lansing, Buckham Gallery, Flint, Michigan, and Lansing Art Gallery.
Exhibits and receptions are free and open to the public. For gallery open hours visit the gallery webpage at www.svsu.edu/artgallery/galleryopenhours or call 989-964-4159
ARTIST’S STATEMENT: The starting point of my imagery is the notion of creating an exterior enclosure from within which to both appear and look outward. In several of my images the “enclosure” is the perimeter-rim of a mask, such that the human face exists as an object for non-human species. Fruits, birds, the four-leggeds, appear with human masks and the occasional hand or foot as decorative or playful object.
A switch has occurred! Non-human organisms are making use of vestiges of human appearance. Homo sapiens’ presence, in the realm imagined, is limited to items worn or born about by the animal/plant beings. Implicit in these face/body relationships is the overlapping of plant-animal spirit with human spirit.
Resolved: humans are but one kind of organism in the diverse world of nature.
With ink line, I render from observation, faces, ears, hands, feet.
The enjoyment of traditional drawing - - the immediacy of pen-in-hand - - I incorporate in the start up process of each picture. I draw accompanying subject matter from plant objects and animal references. These drawings I work together with painted or stained papers, embroidery, tiny beads, wires, and threads. My “mixed media” include pencil, ink, gouache, and various found papers.
The layers of paper provide a slight relief to the overall surface. Objects appear as in a diorama that has compressed almost to two dimensions - - or perhaps, to the contrary, is thickening forward toward the viewer as layers of paper accumulate.
I use digital means to resize my results, manipulate combinations, and replicate my drawings onto various papers. My process includes much trial and error. I have a specific idea in mind when I begin a new work, but I always experience surprise in the process as the outcome changes considerably from my start-up idea.