“We are the vestiges of a civilization gone dead as dead mastoid. No doubt those desert boys were right – evil was at the helm and the pace was increasing. One could hear the distant thunder of the falls toward which we were sliding – the distant cannonade of doom. Meanwhile here was this little old man who had lived to see so much, frail as a leaf, still quietly working among his color blocks and gold leaf” – Lawrence Durrell, – Monsieur
All over the world the present unravels beneath the stored detritus of the past. In biology detritus is defined as dead particulate organic material. It typically includes the bodies or fragments of dead organisms. The meaning of “detritus” has been expanded by contemporary artists who re-compose the prosaic and discarded things littering the landscape, to celebrate the aesthetics of trash. Trash – the most material vestiges of our march across time – may provide a particularly powerful mechanism to re-think art and heritage alike.
The collages in this collection: “GLOBAL” are excursions into a personal as well as a global and anthropological history. Merging personal, local, and global concerns, the work incorporates by-products of my process: recycling, fetishizing, scavenging and re-habilitating memory. Products of hunting and gathering reflect a primal urge to collect and define the mysterious or misplaced, perpetually seeking a historical past to make sense of the present.
The works are assemblages of meaning from fragments of memory. Some pay tribute to ancient and lost civilizations by employing stencils of images from ancient cultures, for example – The Bull Leaper from the Minoan civilization and the Egyptian Ibis. The stencils are from a collection of images I made for monotypes of the 1990’s addressing lost civilizations. They have been coated with layers of rolled printing ink achieving the effect of weathered and chipping ancient walls. Other images are collected fragments from the paper archive of my life and from the detritus of my painting process. I often paint my stencils on newspaper or magazine surfaces to be reversed on the canvas. What is left on the newspaper is a by-product of the process and is imbued with a history of the present.
“The eternal riddle encompasses points in time; it considers decay and rejuvenation. Its innermost secret is revealed in the “other”, the spirit world – the ancestral footstep walking behind us.”
Marianne van Lent

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