LAURA CANNAMELA
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My artwork explores the fragility and resilience of the natural world. Living near a gorge carved from glacial flow and eroded by a creek, everyday I observe the interconnectivity of nature though small details that reflect the massive forces which shaped the environment. My practice centers on expressing this many-layered formation of landscape in two very different media.

The cut paper relief works begin with the topography of places where receding glaciers initially carved the landscape and flowing water continues to be interwoven within it. Moodna refers to Moodna Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River, north of Storm King Mountain. Punsit is a creek that meanders through Spencertown, NY. And Arashiyama, along the banks of the Hozu River in western Kyoto, is not far from where much of the paper I use originates. These relief works are very small and they are designed to be looked at very closely, much like the details I observe in nature that parallel the surrounding topography. The paper Waterfall Studies are very sculptural reliefs, made of myriad layers of lokta paper, while the miniature (2.5 x 2.5 inch) JĹ«nihitoe reliefs are each made with only twelve layers of paper, an allusion to the twelve-layered formal kimono worn in Heian, Japan.

In the ceramic wall sculptures, different clay bodies are layered to suggest striations in rock and the effects of the movement of water. Moulin, Bazanizein, and Panamint were fired in an anagama kiln where the smoke and ash became elemental collaborators in the finished works, revealing colors and emphasizing their textural details in unpredictable ways. These sculptures reflect both representation and abstraction through their rock-like surfaces and their expressionistic, animated forms.

In all the sculptures, as in nature, the process of layering indicates a state of transformation, becoming a record of change through time. Throughout my observations of creek waters as they surge, meander, ripple, and drift, the words of Heraclitus are always with me. You never step into the same river twice, for it's not the same river and you are not the same person.