• Actions and responses: MFA Thesis - Painting

      O'Hara, Colleen (2016-05)
      My process in the studio challenges notions of control versus chance. I work with fluid acrylic paint and inks applied to paper through pouring, throwing and dripping. I do this to maximize the spontaneity of the material and minimize my control. By manipulating the paint with squeegees, brooms, mops and other non-conventional mark making tools, I remove my preconceptions from the making of a mark. At this point, the information is created as the result of an event. This event is an external experience between the paint, the paper, and my body applying it, as well as the space we occupy. I am not proposing that I make paintings in which I am completely removed from decision making or control: rather I place myself in a dialogue with materials in real space and time, thus giving experience and movement the upper hand over my mind. Much of what I think about in regard to my practice parallels ideas of Phenomenology, the philosophy of experience. Specifically, I am interested in how my process relates to the concept of Aletheia, Martin Heidegger's ideas about thinking, and to Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s concept of active engagement in the world as a means of gathering information.