Joan Waters solo exhibition entitled “Cross-Pollinate: Steel drawings + assemblage”

Opening: Thursday, October 19th, from 6-9 pm

“Cross-Pollinate: Steel drawings + assemblage” includes recent 2- and 3-dimensional works across a broad range of mediums, including welded steel, drawing, painting, glazed ceramics and wood. These works investigate the forms and processes of the natural world beyond a dualistic perspective, exploring positive and negative shapes, light and shadow, broken and whole. As in Nature, there is no such thing as ‘waste’; every part becomes integral to the whole.

I am often intrigued by how endlessly inventive Nature is. There seem to be an infinite variety of colors, forms and patterns—far beyond what humans can imagine. Through the process of working back and forth between different mediums—cross-pollinating ideas and materials—I seek to incorporate an open-ended process of ‘not knowing’ as a way to explore new possibilities. This includes using industrial tools, such as the plasma-cutter and welder, for drawing and painting, questioning the ‘right’ way to do things, and re-ordering the making process to include broken and imperfect parts which have their own unique beauty.

Much of the work explores positive and negative shapes inspired by natural forms, in a way that both the positive and negative become part of the sculptures and assemblages. In the same way that the shadow defines the light, the broken, leftover, fragmented elements become part of an integrated language of color and form to invent these new works. Failure and disappointment are often part of the process, but can suggest new solutions I hadn’t anticipated.”

Originally from England, Joan Waters grew up on the east coast of the US.. Childhood travels with her family developed her love of tropical color and foreign cultures, and helped her cultivate the habit of looking at the world from different perspectives. She earned her BFA at Maryland Institute, College of Art (MICA), where she studied painting, drawing, printmaking and African art. After moving to Phoenix in 1989, Waters had a successful graphic design business with local and national clients, and then re-committed to her fine art after having breast cancer.

More recently, Joan learned to weld at Mesa Community College, and began working in welded steel. This led to public art projects for the Cities of Phoenix, Mesa and Chandler. Her work is in many private and public collections including the Phoenix Sheraton, Burton Barr Library, Northern Trust Bank, Ryan House, Congregation Or Tzion and iLuminate on Roosevelt. She completed the Desert Landscape Certification program at the Desert Botanical Garden with the goal of combining desert plants with her sculptural work. She works at her Tempe studio with her 2 dogs, Billy and Coda.

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