I Saw You from Across the Room

Cassie Marie Edwards

February 28  to  May, 2020

Reception:  Saturday, Feb 29, 6-9 pm

About the Show...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.