Early Work (Canticles 2 & 3) 1994-1997

Exhibited at the Gallery 401, Toronto, ON

My current series entitled Canticles 2 + 3 allude to the Old Testament’s The Song of Solomon. This Scripture is often said to represent a dialogue in poetic form between the Lord as the Lover and His people as the beloved. I use this liturgical referent to point to personal ideas about healing and narrowing the gap between the ‘Sacred’ and the ‘Profane,’ between Nature and Culture, between the ironic, dispassionate mind and the committed loving heart. I try to give a visual compassionate voice to the longings of the spirit, to the wisdom of the flesh and to the whisperings of the natural world. I use text or rather poetry that I have written to ‘illuminate’ each work.

Although I do not align myself with Modernist belief systems, many of the working processes I use would be impossible without their developments. I use stained grounds, thrown and poured pigment, free flowing drips and spatters. I also use Molding Pastes and Ashes to build up textural, tactile, fleshy, active surfaces. I create a confrontational dialogue between highly glossy reflective zones and areas of parched, matt deterioration.

In this series I have been influenced by the wall frescoes from Herculaneum and Pompeii for their openly erotic and spiritual depiction’s as well as the catastrophic beauty of a culture destroyed by the powers of the natural world. Medieval manuscript, Tarot illumination and Alchemical imagery have also been significant sources of information for the way they visualize complex psychological states.

My use of various anatomical sites and parts of the body, are set against a basic, minimal geometric structure. The images within flow excrete and bleed out of their confining borders into visual song, metaphoric poetry and psychological allegory.

Tina Poplawski / Artist Statment