Description The subject of many of my paintings is the landscape, depicted in varying degrees of abstraction. This is usually a direct result of what I see around me: the countryside seen from the East Coast Main Line, fields and forests in the north of Scotland, the countryside of The Dordogne, as well as ubiquitous urban landscapes: industrial areas, railway stations, and tree lined walkways.
Tracey Athay, Buenos Aires Member Since May 2007 Artist Statement While I no longer remember what first inspired me to be an artist, I know that many ideas for my work come from the environment and scenery around me. Because of this, my travelling has always provided rich sources of inspiration and opportunities to develop my visual language. However, this influence is not merely a literal, physical one: in recent years I have produced paintings, sculpture and prints that have been informed by the emotional and / or socio-political environment that I find myself in.
Working in series, I produce a body of pieces around a particular idea. This allows me to explore certain processes, focus on the subject and continue to evolve methods of working. It has resulted in, for example, mixed media work that combines sculpture with printmaking, installations using light, and experimentation with various grounds such as plaster and wood that are exposed through subsequent paint removal. Consequently, any particular series may include sculpture, paintings and prints within the given theme.
My current work is largely figurative, with an aim of exploring the sense of space around the figure. The figures often sit on their own within the space, devoid of other details. On a broad level, whilst the work is influenced by social and political issues, it is also an exploration of individual and personal responses between people: how we relate to one another, how we communicate, what the meaning of a brief moment might suggest to others. I aim to present questions for myself, and the viewer, about the nature of particular situations.
The casas/cajas (houses/boxes) paintings are the result of travels in Peru, where small box-like buildings can be seen along the desert coastal road. This original notion was then further developed in response to ideas about domestic housing, personal safety, and issues of wealth and trust that have been inspired by living in Buenos Aires.
As I look at my work I see and feel various things: contradictory emotions, changing interpretations, possibilities – responses driven by my own mood at the time. I hope that these same responses might be experienced by the viewer, making him or her engage with the pieces and continue the narratives with their own interpretations.
For my degree I specialised in sculpture and printmaking, but painting has always been a consistent element in my production. My work is exhibited in various galleries across the UK, but principally in London and Edinburgh. For more information, please feel free to look on my website www.traceyathay.com