Jason Paradis

[Miriam Woolfolk Gallery, LAL, Lexington, KY]

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Lexington Kaleidoscope, 2013

Acrylic, ink, and spray paint on 9 canvases with acrylic yarn, stone, and Plexiglas, Dimensions Variable

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This installation was istalled at the Miriam Woolfolk Gallery in Lexington, KY. It consists of paintings based on star formations that would be visible if you looked out the windows of the gallery and could see the stars, moon, and planets. Because the gallery was not open during the day, you were not able to actually see the stars, so they were plotted via an iPhone app and transferred (in my studio) to the canvases exactly as they would appear if you could see them. The transfer is technically accurate regarding the location and magnitude of each star and is abstracted to create a visual response and re-interpretation. In the studio, the canvases were arranged as a single-unit grid to the exact size of the gallery windows and then painted in that formation. Elements of the window architecture also inspired the shapes in the painting process. The canvases were spread out and hung randomly in the gallery. The star-plot was again transferred on Plexiglas covering the gallery windows to relate to that view outside. Each star was drilled out with a small hole (roughly 700 in all). There was a pile of rocks on the floor in the middle of the gallery. The pile of stones is meant to represent the general shape of a campfire pit, cairn, or burial mound. All of these are specifically human creations. They are universal symbols that connect us to an earlier time. We huddle around the campfire blaze for warmth, food, or protection, we build the cairn to reflect man-made ingenuity, and we have covered the dead (our past) with mounds of rocks. It is specifically around the fire that we have looked up at the stars and contemplated our past, felt the present moment, and have become curious about our future. Colored acrylic yarn stretched from the window to the core of the rock pile then to the canvases hung around the room. Each “star” was connected with one strand of yarn. The colored yarn gives physicality to light – like a kaleidoscope. Embedded in light is information (images, colors, and radiation). The light traveling to our planet (more specifically here to the windows of the Miriam Woolfolk Gallery) carries this information. I wanted to give form to this – albeit in an intuitive, visceral way.

Artworks by Jason Paradis

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