Amelia McAndrew believes in artistic experimentation through emotional expression and spontaneous gestures. She is not a realist, although most of her works begin with a realistic representation of a landscape. In her creative process, she starts from how the world looks and then explores how unpredictable actions can create something more beautiful. This process often involves destruction and reconstruction, as she uses nontraditional painting tools to introduce depth and texture, or tears a canvas into strips before reassembling the scene anew. She destroys depictions of natural beauty and then puts the puzzle back together to create something more abstract - but more true to the world we live in—nothing is perfect.
Each work in my Torn Series starts with an original painting, torn and carefully puzzled back together to create a new composition. I am not making conventional collages, which are assemblies of found materials. The pieces are entirely composed from the original painting: all the torn pieces need to find a place in the new work. I do not adjust any piece with additional painting or use scraps from other works. Each piece has its own fate—separated and torn from the original composition. Each comes alive when it is nailed next to a new piece. I believe when things fall apart, the remains create a more interesting story. The resulting composition brings a feeling of hope. A new story to be told. Everyone has a new corner to turn in life. These changes make you who you are. My work embodies these kinds of transformations.
I’m often asked about the genre of my work, or who my favorite artists are. I work in the tradition of action painting: for me, the canvas is “an arena in which to act.” Italian painters like Alberto Burri and Lucio Fontana have used different techniques to transform a flat canvas into richer spatial concepts. But I’ve never been a follower - I believe I am the only artist creating new works from the torn shreds of finished paintings. The most important determinants of what you see are the emotions and experiences I have as I work.
For more information on Amelia's work, feel free to get in touch.