Artist Statement

Tangled Roots

Investigating and mirroring our tangled past is the motivation of my art practice: The complex unraveling, taking the past from texts and myths and examining it in the ongoing context of mass incarceration, guns on the street, racial inequality and social injustice. 

 

Research and travel inform a visual retelling of our history, specifically, how the American slave trade that fueled the growth of capital, education and industry in the North and South, and the ongoing conflicts resulting from the emancipation of enslaved human beings, especially the Civil War, impact the merging of historic social practices with contemporary social realities.

 

Discerning between bars and stripes, words and motives, purpose and power, contemplation and reflection. Constantly navigating news, distraction, relationship. Finding personal relevance in events egregiously relegated to the past, coursing pugnaciously through the veins of the present.

 

Like the multi-layered, diverse culture we live in, my paintings include layers of paint, glass, rusted metal, plastic, detritus, light and video into and on transparent and mirrored surfaces, to reflect the what ‘was’ in an effort to relate the what ‘is’ in our intertwined historical narrative.

 

I find that History is like Pandora’s box: Closed, it teases safety in an uncertain future. Open, it’s a perilous voyage of unsettling yet illuminating journeys. Past; present, tangled roots above ground, hiding in plain view. My work is an exploration of those tangled roots. 

 

 

  

For more information contact cynthiagroya@comcast.net