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
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.