Cassie Marie Edwards
Distracted by shiny objects and light? Us Too! This artwork is for you...
From Cassie Marie Edwards:
One of my earliest memories was in my great-Grandmother’s house. She had an entire wall filled with shelves of figurines. I was fascinated by these tiny porcelain objects that were strange and exaggerated versions of the animals they represented. When we visited I’d always spend time looking at them, while being instructed to keep my hands behind my back (of course). Even then, as a very young child, I remember finding such quiet joy in looking closely and carefully at these small mesmerizing forms.
My family moved often throughout my childhood and my possessions became a much-needed source of stability in my constantly shifting world. I began collecting small porcelain horses and unicorns from garage sales and secondhand shops that I frequented in Milwaukee with my grandmother. I have always been interested in the past lives of the objects in these places - and enjoyed scouring the remnants of peoples’ possessions for these mass-produced treasures.
In recent years, my desire to collect figurines was rekindled, which led me to begin using them as subjects for this series of paintings. I was interested in playing with the boundaries between the genres of still life and portraiture, and high and low art. I am also interested in exploring the limits of representation. Making this work is like a visual telephone game – they are paintings of painted porcelain objects. Many of the figurines are so distorted and exaggerated that sometimes it becomes hard to determine the animals they originally reference. I am intrigued by our ability to discern what these abstracted forms represent.
Within my paintings, I focus on subtly shifting color, composition, scale, and light within the still lives I paint directly from until I am content with how they impact the personality of the figurines. The figurines I am most drawn to are strange, comical and sometimes slightly discomforting. In some of these works I intend to heighten the personalities of the figurines, and at other times I’m looking to completely alter the inherent qualities of these inanimate objects.
Cassie Marie Edwards is a Painter and Educator based in Oshkosh, WI. She holds a MFA from Northern Illinois University, and a BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Her paintings have been exhibited in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, New York, Las Vegas, Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
Regionally, her work has been exhibited at the South Dakota Art Museum, the John A. Day Gallery at University of South Dakota, the Visual Arts Center at the Washington Pavilion, The North Dakota Museum of Art, The Dahl Arts Center and the Isaac Lincoln Gallery at Northern State University.
Currently she is an Instructor of Art at University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. Prior to her current position, she was an Adjunct Instructor at Dakota State University and an Instructor of Record at Northern Illinois University. She has received multiple grants and awards for her work including the South Dakota Artist Project Grant, Faculty Research Grants and a South Dakota Artist’s Career Development Grant.