Description This is of the early stages of the Nine Mile Run Restoration in Frick Park. Pittsburgh's largest urban stream has undergone a tremendous transformation in recent years. Take a look at www.ninemilerun.org for ongoing details about that transformation.
Hawthorne (Hawthorne on Painting) speaks of painting as spots of color.
'The beauty of a picture results from the way spots of color are brought together.'
This describes the mechanics of my painting. I simply put spots of color next to other spots, while pulling out the lights and pushing the darks. The relationships between those spots fool the eye into some representational image.
The relationships between the spots and the actual scene represent my role as observer. I interpret this scene on a day where the stream flows through a completed restoration area of Nine Mile Run. There is mist in the air, the trees are dormant waiting for springtime.
Relationships relevant to this painting:
Painting - There is a notion of voice behind the relationship of a painting and a painted subject. For much of the history of painting, it has been a visual voice of power. Rich people got portraits painted, in effect, to crystallize a public mythology about themselves. The church commissioned work much to the same ends. I chose to paint the restoration because it is damn exciting and deserves to have it story told in this format.
(Something to consider: what is the difference between photographing the site and painting it? There are tremendous amounts of beautiful photographs depicting the Nine Mile Run restoration. Photography usurped painting as a mode of crystallizing mythologies about power. What is the value of painting in this conversation? The best I can come up with at this time is the ability to convey a different temporal dimension than photography)
The method of paint application is loose and misty. It attempts to convey a very waterlogged scene. In a way, the la
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.