New York-based artist, Joanne Brockley, has exhibited her work in many New York galleries and museums including the Brooklyn Museum, The Drawing Center, and PS1. She has received artist grants from the Pollack-Krasner Foundation and the NY State Foundation for the Arts and been a guest artist at the Yaddo Artist Residency.
The title for this exhibition: Superimposed: Drawings and Collages, refers to my eclectic use of artistic techniques and materials in combination with found photographic and illustrative images from the world around us, both visible and imagined.
My artwork has always involved combinations of seemingly disparate parts melded together to create a new experience. When I first moved to New York City in the early 1980s I had a studio at Westbeth Artists’ Housing in the West Village and took classes at Empire State college. While living in a series of sublets and walking the streets of New York I became infatuated with materials left out on the streets. Each living space I occupied contained visible evidence of a life lived in the layers of paint and wallpaper left behind. These discarded materials became my palette which I cut and combined into sculptural, often anthropomorphic, structures. Later, when I moved to Brooklyn, I created a series of larger, site-specific sculptural installations using a combination of construction materials and industrial refuse that I constantly saw around me. During this time, I created drawings that informed and sometimes documented my sculptural works. I became progressively more interested in the immediacy and freedom to invent imaginary spaces for which two-dimensional collage and mixed media allowed. Despite the shift in the working medium, my interests remained the same; combing photographs of Brooklyn’s industrial landscape with images of nature and decay continued to fascinate me.
Since my move to the Hudson River Valley just a few years ago my two-dimensional work has continued to respond to the images that surround me both real and imaginary. The pristine beauty of the woods and mountain views contrasted with the insidious and destructive forces of man on nature continue to provide fodder for my artistic investigations. This dichotomy manifests itself into collages that are windows to an invisible and chaotic world. The visual result at times appear as surrealistic landscapes while others offer glimpses of an underground imaginary world.
The following is a list of words that conjure thoughts and associations with my working process:
Microbiology, viruses, cells, veins, circulation systems, rivers, maps, charts, nests, bubbles, crystals, lava, rocks, space, roots, oceans, informative illustrations, disruption, invasive species, The World without us!
Several years ago, I read a book by Alan Weisman titled, “The World Without Us”. This book is a scientific discussion about our earth today if humans simply disappeared. It discussed the ways our structures would slowly decay and how nature would reclaim our earth. Although somewhat unconscious of this at the time, the book stuck with me conceptually. Our collective human footprint will be here for many years to come, even without us.