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Artist Statement

Artist Statement of Shauna Lee Lange – July 2010

Shauna Lee Lange maintains an artist website here.  Shauna Lee is a sketchbook, paper & book artist specializing in art journals, visual diaries, art maps and other forms of expression involving personal geographies.  She is a mixed-media, collage, pen & ink, and paper & book art artist who has both exhibited nationally and juried other artists’ works.  The below is her artist statement.

What work do I do?

I am communicating and listening. My visual art work encompasses artistry in ephemera assemblage, mixed media, and collage. Most of my work involves a growing and heavy use of paper, graphic images, and transitory written and printed matter. I love trade cards, bookmarks, greeting cards, letters, photographs, and old postcards which I use to assemble new images with reinvented meanings. I like reusing found, discarded, or overlooked items. I also have a keen interest in the public arts arena and outsider or visionary art. In 2006, I founded a full service professional arts advisory firm within the metropolitan DC area. My professional arts concentration is in the area of art writing, design, consulting, and coaching. My personal goals and aspirations are ones of communication, exploration, and developing new motivations for an audience.  Lately, this has been manifested through progressive (feminist) art, global women’s issues, and creative empowerment themes.

How?

I make decisions based on mood, color, and composition. I often collected pieces of mixed media, ephemera, collages, photographs, printed matter, and various papers for months on end. When an idea has solidified, I go searching for items previously put aside. I compile the items, figure out the design for the message I want to convey, and then I define the whole lot with interwoven language and visual meaning. As life has holes, I am seeking not only to show a finished work, but to accept the space between each component and to accentuate it. I select materials based on texture, meaning, and color in spurts. My techniques are rough, experimental, and constantly changing. I try new adhesive methods, new windowing methods, and new incorporations of small accent items. Themes I focus on include matters of the heart; following one’s heart, listening to one’s inner voice, and being true to one’s self. Many works end up having a cultural, political, or social sub-message. Overall, I have learned to embrace the fact that I am a big systems thinker; a true analyst. I am always trying to make a whole out of the sum of parts; always trying to find larger meaning for myself and others. I am constantly amazed at how subjects, people, and events intersect in unusual and unexpected ways.

Why?

Happy childhood memories involve art. Sadly, I didn’t plug in to the energy embedded in those memories until later in life when I reached my early forties. My then college-aged daughter left to reside in the big city. Suddenly alone in my empty-nest syndrome, I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out who I had become, who I had been, and what there was left to love. My current work grows out of these life experiences and the new journey of being a mom to a change-of-life son born in 2007. I am still exploring how all the pieces come together – attempting to make sense out of the past and make a statement, a map of sorts, a personal geography for a new future. I am challenged to find the medium, the artistic expression, or the venue for half a life lived without a dedicated focus on art.  At times, the ideas feel like they are streaming river-fast as if some gate has been opened, yet I still worry there isn’t enough time to realize them all! I am self-taught, I am emerging, and I want to meet others (figuratively and literally) through art. Most importantly, I hope to meet myself – don’t we all?

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