My lifestyle shapes the content and form of my art. I move a lot. I'm often separated from my family and outside my home country of Canada. As a result, I'm usually in a state of adjustment, experiencing a new place or adjusting to an old one. My work is often a direct response to these experiences.
I make work that negotiates and critiques issues of colonialism and development, that involve the use of water, land, and people. At home, I take photographs of forests and lakes where my family has a cottage, and near where my German-Jewish great-great-grandmother’s family settled in the 1870s. My photos also reference paintings by the Group of Seven, part of the colonizing nationalist project in Canada, 1915-1930. I alter my photographs in Photoshop, printed on paper or mylar, and apply thick abstract shapes in acrylic paint. Materials and imagery, realistic and abstract, interrupt, disturb, and co-exist.
Living abroad, I made Ghost Walk (1hr 36 min), a video of assembled footage tracking the walks I took while travelling in 2014. Together, the piece includes forest paths of Ontario, Canada, the border crossing of Amman and Israel-Palestine, Rail Depots at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, and the bridges and galleries of Venice, Italy. I recorded my present day negotiation of the histories of built and natural environments. I cross cultures, and unseen experiences and observations.
The narratives of Art History interest me. I closely reread texts, and find sources for visual images to expand upon their meaning. When I travel I purchase art materials that reference these ideas. People will navigate the temporal differences that meet in my art, art/history, my personal history, materials, and technology.
All text and images copyright Lesa Moriarity, 2020.