Description This is of the structure on the northern end of the lake in FDR park, Philadelphia. This was a quiet place for me during my first year in Philly. I would go for runs and bike ride there. There is a lovely skateboarding park there under the highway bridge.
I saw a Great Blue Heron there one day. The distance from the noise of the city is calming. You can hear it, but the sounds are very far away. The park is an estuary and experiences changes in tide. The structure in the painting reminded me of something I had sketched over 15 years ago.
FDR Park's existing waterways are remnants of the tidal marsh and channel system that originally occupied this area. The Park also includes two ecosystems that are nearly extinct in Pennsylvania - coastal plain forests and fresh water tidal marsh.
Noel Hefele, Philadelphia Member Since January 2008 Artist Statement Through my painting, I investigate relationships.
Our personal experiences are inseparable from the physical and social environments we find ourselves in. Our actions unavoidably affect and shape our surroundings: there is a narrative of value in this. We have come to a point where these effects cannot be ignored. In urban places, invasive species, watershed and storm water issues, barren brownfields of post-industrial waste, as well as barren, cold, improperly considered inter-personal relationships, are all very real concerns of citizens caught up in the remnant realities of an industrial culture. Our relationships to each other, nature and society are ultimately shaped locally.
There is a dawning global conversation about our relationships amongst ourselves and our responsibilities to the natural world. As an artist and painter, I want to find ways to participate in that dialogue.
I learned how to work, study and practice art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Since I left there, I have been looking for an artistic and academic community.
I investigate relationships through a practice of looking, caring, and painting. I believe that this can help weave visual narratives that clarify complex issues and contribute to the dialogues between people, culture, place and nature. I want to focus on the role of images in constructing shared values as related to the rapidly changing and paradoxical eco-social landscape. Can painting act as a catalyst to start conversations and develop and spread knowledge? In our dominant social context, how do I, as an artist, deal with ethical issues in my work? Can I develop a language of aesthetics that supports these ethical explorations? These are some of the questions I've been asking myself.