LAURA CANNAMELA
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Waterfalls
I live near a gorge carved from glacial flow and eroded by waterfalls and a creek that empties into the Hudson River. The interconnectivity evident in the flow of water, the rock formations, the stratigraphy, and the topographical structure of the landscape continually reminds me of the vastness of geological time. To create my relief sculpture and suggest the detailed topography of waterfalls, gorges, and streambeds, I observe details embedded in natural forms that parallel the massive geological forces that shape landscape.

Observing various aspects of the falls and their environs every day, I have perceived many similarities between the erosion created through natural forces and sculpture created through carving, modeling, and cutting away layers of clay or paper. In both, there is a fusion of process and form that is crucial to the image perceived. In both, the positive space and the negative space are connected through the process of formation. In both, the form created suggests a relationship of past actions to the present, reflecting the continuity of time.

Throughout my observations of creek waters as they surge, meander, ripple, and drift, the words of Heraclitus are always with me. You never step into the same river twice, for it's not the same river and you are not the same person.


Genji series and earlier works
These works are informed by art historical sources, such as Japanese illustrations for Genji Monogatari (the Tale of Genji), Persian Miniatures illustrating the Khamza of Nizami, and Tibetan paintings of the Taras Who Protect from the Eight Dangers. I am interested in their variety of textures, colors, and patterns, and how these design elements are interwoven to create a balance between representational space and abstract form. My work focuses on this balance by leaving out the figures which are so central to the narrative works, reinterpreting these spaces without them.

Architectural forms and objects left behind allude to recent human presence; the absence of figures allows the emptiness of the implied spaces to be perceived. While empty of figures, these spaces are actually full: filled with texture and pattern, filled with layers of paper, filled with light and shadow. The interplay of empty implied space and full actual space blurs the distinction between image and object, between simulation and reality.