Artist statement

Ira hoffecker

Artist Statement

My paintings are informed by the different identities cities take on over the course of time, based on my experiences of the urban spaces I have inhabited and visited during my lifetime. I am interested in the ways that urban geography is reshaped by both the passage of time and by social change. My work portrays cycles of revision and restoration in the manmade landscape by replicating the geometric shapes of maps, architectural drawings and photographs, which I combine to create imagined cartographies within my paintings. These works begin with a research process, as I explore various locations on foot, and source maps and images from historical archives which are later translated into painted shapes, colours and lines that transmit the physicality of moving through architectural spaces.

In the spring of 2020, I began painting floral and plant studies as a form of escape from the isolation of the Covid 19 lockdowns. Their shapes and colours brought me a sense of joy and wholeness. I painted the vegetation of my summer flower garden, as well as the plants I encountered during my daily forest walks. Some of these paintings extended beyond individual plant studies and became landscapes.

In these new works I began to use oil paint, which I found to be a fantastic medium for representing plants and natural landscapes. Oil has its own application regime. My previous work involved layers of urban shapes in bright colors and had mainly been painted in acrylic due to its quicker drying time. Unlike acrylics, which can be overlaid with subsequent colours on top of what is first applied to the canvas, working with oil means additional pigments mix with what has already been applied. This pigment blending works to my advantage when painting plants.

My latest series of paintings involves both organic and geometric forms, where aspects of one form concentration informed the other. These paintings explore the perception of depth in the urban environment.

I began combining colours from separate palettes in an attempt to broaden the range of colours in the work, and painted plants in oil paint, bringing organic shapes into compositions of geometric structures and architectural elements.

Before this series, my art practice has been concerned with the assimilation and reconfiguration of urban spaces and the histories they represent. Geographical locations are overlaid with multiple histories like layers of paint, one obscuring the next, each coat bearing the traces of the past layer.

Working in oil paints and painting organic material introduced themes and processes to my work which are still unfolding, repopulating the landscape with fresh formations.

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