Copyright©2018 Madeline Glaspey All Rights Reserved
Website by: “cute little nuggets”
The body of work titled Liminal States, created my senior year in college, is a collection of works that explore transitional moments in our lives. These paintings are meditations on an individual’s psychological experience within this moment. A transitional moment is chaotic, and there is a crisis of meaning that accompanies a remolding of identity. I explore this issue by creating a calm, infinite realm where the individual resides. The result is a realistically rendered figure within an abstracted space.
These abstracted landscapes contain simplified architectural forms that appear to exist in an infinite space. In some works, these forms provide a claustrophobic element, while in others, they offer a look of desolation. In all works, however, I utilize the laws of perspective with these forms to suggest the feeling of a monumental moment. This allows the viewer to focus on the psychological state of the individual during their shift in identity. Symmetry is a compositional tool that is used in several of these works. Symmetrical compositions hold a power and have a presence. It creates a stillness that alludes back to this meditative state.
A universal theme can be found in these works. We all experience certain rites of passage and make decisions that alter what we have known and determine a new direction of our lives. My hope is that the use of a figure in a surrounding devoid of any specific time or place allows you to put your own life’s transitional moments into perspective.
On a personal note, this series of paintings was conceived as I began to explore feelings I was experiencing that I did not fully understand, at first. Close to completing my undergraduate degree, I thought I would feel satisfied, happy; content. Instead, I felt an unexpected immobilizing fear: fear of the unknown, fear of the future, fear of failure, fear of whatever the shadows would reveal as I took my next steps outside the protective boundaries of student life.The “outside” world is big with limitless possibilities. But at that moment it felt daunting and treacherous. However, in the process of working on these paintings, I learned from them. I gained a better understanding of what I was feeling as the paintings evolved and I found myself working past my fear.
I realized there will always be unknowns in life. Each step, each path, every carefully weighed choice comes with its own set of unknowns. Decisions have consequences and because of that there will be fear. But there is also renewal, hopefulness, and joy. These paintings have taught me to embrace the unknown, to trust the process of change and to enjoy moments meant to be celebrated whatever comes next.