CADAVRE EXQUIS : AN EXPLORATION OF COMBINED ART AND MADNESS
TRISSA TILSON & LYNN GRAZNAK
Friday, November 4th, 2016
Cadavre Exquis (or Exquisite Corpse) was a collaborative artistic parlour game invented by surrealists. Each participant would draw an image (or, on some occasions, paste an image down) on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal their contribution, and pass it on to the next player for his contribution.
Lynn and Trissa are trying to accomplish a similar goal with their collaborative pieces, working on their own pieces and then trading for the other to finish. The end goal is a fusion of two-dimensional and three-dimensional fiber art and painting that combines both of their talents into one artistic endeavor.
I draw because I have to. It is a need and a drive. It has been this way since as far back as I can remember. My family jokes that I was born with a crayon in each hand; this is probably not too far from the truth.
Simply put, art makes me happy. Creating art is even better. Most of the time what inspires me to work is completely random. A phrase, a song, a line from a book or movie; a specific shade of color, the expression on a person’s face at any given moment. Suddenly, my brain is full of images that won’t leave me until the idea has been fully purged onto a sheet of paper… or whatever I can get my hands on to create with. I’m not picky.
My newer art seems to be all about balances. A balance between beauty and ugliness, light and dark, delicacy and stark bluntness. Life is a balancing act after all, we keep our darker natures in check by balancing our less than savory actions in good deeds. And what else is humanity other than balance and contrasts?
I have a deep love of surrealism and I try to portray that in my own works as well. Just like life, things may appear pretty and attractive on the surface but may actually be dark and disturbing at a second glance.
I make art from the collision of disparate, even opposing elements: knitting, weaving, stitchery, several felting techniques, printing original photos on silk, doll making, 3d collage, polymer clay sculpture, wood and metal construction– all in combination with original poetry and micro-fiction. I use quite a lot of “repurposed” material, which sounds nicer than “trash”.
For more than 30 years I was primarily a mother and homemaker and I loved that life. Although I was raised in the polite Midwest, I have discovered that dark, angry and sad voices are ok to use– even for women– even for OLD women. My recent work involves many new storytelling projects: 3 dimensional fairytales, my own or variations of the classics. Not, however, abandoning dark reality for banal prettiness.
Although largely self-taught, I have a few semesters of college-level training in fine art (Stephens College and the University of Missouri). I have also learned from some wonderful crafters. I work in an intuitive manner, unwilling to give up either the narrative or sculptural elements of my work. I put a great deal of time into each piece, striving for a multileveled dialogue between the surreal and the mundane.
Roger Cardinal describes outsider artists as having “profound strangeness and integrity”– that’s my aspiration.