Sep 13, 2011

PROFILE I Cherri Wood

Cherri Wood, Sadly Catching So, Mixed media on paper, 2009

The ambiguous use of the figure offset by open ended space, combined with manipulated yet uncontrolled splatters and stains define the work of emerging artist Sy Simone, or as known by the art world Cherri Wood. While at work- usually in the early hours of morning, Wood reaches to her intuition and inspiration from start to finish, depicting naive, ghost like figures. For the most part young and feminine, emerging from the somewhat unattended background, they symbolize the unrest within the human psyche today. 

The beginnings usually with a simple stain or gestural graphite sketch, Wood works fairly quickly, building up the surface to completion, most commonly with watercolour, ink, and acrylics. A key element in her work is the expressive, yet delicate compositions alongside her trust within each medium, letting it speak for itself instead of fighting for control. 

The text included quite often derives from classic plays, poetry, and short stories, small clues pointing the viewer to the idea behind each painting. But searching to hard will harvest no answers, keeping it simple she matches those few chosen words to what she dwells upon while working, “just letting it happen.”

Cherri Wood, Becca, Acrylic, india ink, watercolour on paper, 2008

Though her expressive personal style is the core to her work, it has already met small steps of evolution in the short time she has developed it. At her start she limited her pallete to black and white values, with a few muted pastel tones, but over the past couple of years, while expanding her staining mediums to include new juice mixtures, caramel soda, and even flowers, she’s added more saturate colors to her range. Also in her first experiments text was usually added through cut and paste collage, while today its incorporated more often by hand printing or using transfer methods, allowing her to build the strange static noise of her work in new ways. 

Her compositions develop greatly around her figures, usually isolated, at times faceless, with a clear theme of emotional disturbance of many sorts. Even her more innocent pieces hold an eerie, dark afterthought, as though emotional turbulence is but on the brink of eruption. Her figures captivated like an old photograph she found within her memory, they disintegrate into the background, left alone to haunt their melancholy surroundings, alienated, disconnected amongst the surreal environments of their own minds.
Cherri Wood, Sadly Speciality, Mixed media on paper, 2009
To my knowledge she hasn’t spoken of exactly who her subjects are, maybe the ghosts that haunted her as a child- in attempt to give them (and herself) peace , old loved ones, bleak strangers met by chance to her eye, an imagination trying to define the discontent it finds within humanity, perhaps a collaboration of all these. But her point is obviously for them to touch you, stay with you, so you may cherish them, give them life, and just maybe find something of yourself within them.  

Kathryn Garner

1 comment:

  1. Her work seems subtle, yet sporadicly expressive – I will be looking for more.