RITA LEDUC

Statement

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STATEMENT

For the non-human, animate world, the environment is interconnected; the parts are the whole. This Deep Ecology mentality has been ingrained in me since my first camping trip at three months old. Years later, stints spent in nature remain a life source for me. Each time, I re-experience this interdependence, renewing my commitment to the natural world. In our climate of environmental uncertainty, representing and rekindling this reciprocity is what drives my work.

In order to do this, I collect multiple perspectives on a chosen outdoor location using photography, painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, and installation. I first approach a site with "integrated photographs," which are photographs taken through acetate of temporary installations with materials placed on and around the acetate itself. The resulting images conflate the space, blurring the hierarchy of elements – those original to the environment and the added art materials – within the composition. As multiples of these works are compiled, studio work delves deeper. Rigorous graphite drawings mask everything in the integrated photographs except the original scene, yielding an oscillation between environment and erasure, knowledge and obscurity. Collages offer an abstracted lens, and are first composed of "integrated photograph" detritus and then scaled up to confront the viewer one-to-one. "Deconstructed sites" are handmade boxes that provide playful examples of multiple sensory observations. Installations synthesize all of the previous work to emphasize how a viewer’s presence affects – and is affected by – a site.

As information builds, boundaries between a location’s defined descriptors weaken. Patterns, temperatures, and aural vibrations intertwine. A synesthetic effect ensues, resulting in a more porous and holistic representation of place. Consequently, viewers are able to feel that location’s interdependence; to not just see, but access an ancient, primal reciprocity and understanding.