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Kim Arthun: Landforms
October 14, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Kim Arthun: Landforms
October 14-November 19, 2022
Landforms: Artist Statement
The surface of the Earth is a collaboration of various physical features. These natural physical features on the Earth’s surface are called landforms. Landforms are defined as the natural physical features found on the surface of the Earth created as a result of various forces of nature, such as wind, water, ice, and movement of tectonic plates. Some landforms are created in a matter of hours; others take millions of years to appear. Mountains are land’s physical features protruding high beyond the hills and very high up the lands surface with steep tips commonly shaped into a peak.
I have been fortunate in my life to have as a friend, neighbor, teacher, and refuge in the wilderness areas from the desert to the high peaks of the western US. My family were outdoors people, and some of my earliest memories as a child were in the wild Latir Wilderness of northern NM. Every day of my life, I gaze out at my dear friend, the Sandia Mountains. Rising above 10,000 feet above Albuquerque, they dominate the eastern horizon and are a huge part of Albuquerque’s livability. I started drawing the outline of the Sandias in elementary school, which drew my attention daily. As a teenager, I began backpacking, beginning with hiking that “outline” of the mountain from Placitas to Tijeras that I use to draw. Now I experienced that “outline” as topography and as a whole world, the natural world, which informed and
Changed the way I looked at the mountain every day. I then began to experience the mountain rather than record it. I have backpacked, mountaineered, technical rock climbed, skied, hiked, bouldered, bicycled, slept, dreamed, and meditated all over this beloved mountain. This has filled my consciousness with an uncounted number of days and hours of visual memories that inform my depiction of the Sandias and other areas. I am not a “plain air” artist drawing on direct observation to inform my depiction of what I call Landforms. It is a distillation of the scene down to its most basic elements, which inform the viewer of my collective outdoor experiences. Two New Mexico landscape artists who are my favorites are Earl Stroh and Andrew Dasburg. They, too breakdown the landscape to its most elemental features leaving a few bits for the viewer to absorb. To me, it’s more about what I feel in nature as opposed to what I see. Collage lets me start with no idea as to where I am headed but discover along the way the best “trail” to follow. It’s an open mind but filled with a lifetime of memories.
The drawings on plywood are the results of editing down to one or two pieces of starting collage material into a larger, mostly monochromatic palette suitable to drawing. The boards are cut with a jig saw, many layers of gesso, and then the surface is drawn on like a lithography stone that is hung on the wall rather than run through a press. Landscape is only one part of my artistic practice. I mostly work nonobjective, but during Covid, nature and landscape made much more sense. My hope is that I can give the viewer an experience of an unknown, unseen landscape that exists in my head and is now on these walls.