Statement

Through my work, I seek to tell stories that explore questions about – and express my thoughts on – identity, agency, relationships, and what it means to be an ambiguous person living in a patriarchal society. Patriarchy demands binary thinking – male, female, gay, straight, white, not-white, and so forth. The world itself, our dreams, and our wishes are much more nuanced than this.

 

Stories have always been an important part of my life; stories from my childhood continue to resonate with me even now. Unpacking the narratives of my own childhood is a complex activity; I was told stories from my father's Native American heritage as well as the common fairy tales from my mother's European heritage. These both influence my work in sometimes intersecting and sometimes conflicting ways which is reflected in the ambiguity of my subject matter.

 

The main narratives that are present in my work are concerned with the mother-child bond, movement between spaces, transition and transformation, ambiguity, and identity. Universal themes that cross cultures and contain archetypal imagery. My aim, in using archetypes, is to create narratives that are rooted in the space between, that embrace ambiguity, and celebrate it.

 

My practice is primarily concerned with oil painting but I also use sculpture as a method of expression. In my painting, I favor a limited color palette and use both chiaroscuro and tenebrism in my compositions to focus the eye of the viewer and create drama. My sculptures are usually large, meant to take up space and confront the viewer. I appropriate these art forms, as recognizable visual 'language', to tell stories that have otherwise been historically and modernly ignored in this media.

© 2020  Tammie L. Dupuis