Christine Anne BERGER
My past work has been based on investigating stories from the personal and collective feminine being. The stories have ranged from that of a stranger in the market who rambled on to me to a deity from Chinese history. The forms in my work have been representative of stories that are held and stored by our bodies or the marks that our bodies leave as we meander or force our way through life. Storytelling has been the intended form of inquiry used to create the work and continues to be an integral part of creating the work.
Recently my work has become more personal and some images have returned in my visual vocabulary. The horse and crow for example have returned as a metaphorical representation of different relationships. In my work I am exploring the connections formed and shaped by the marks we leave on our environment and vice-versa. It would seem that everything we do and say leaves a mark on our environment whether it be social, emotional or physical and that mark is recorded. Some find the marks to be scary, manipulative, powerful and of course sometimes mundane but no less important. The assumptions we make about the marks can tell of our own character and experience. Our fears, our remorse, our desire, our anger, our complacency to change is present in the marks we leave and they are intended to be read, felt and encountered. The marks we leave tell a story that is left up to ones interpretation such a simple sign in a nearby étang marking a boundary that I pass routinely. My intention is to continue to explore a deeper collaborative connection as to how one engages with spatial memory. The feminine aspect is continues to be import in my work and remains present as the objects and places are from personal memory. I have documented, photographed and sketched the hikes and bike routes I routinely take in my private life. A life that is unknown to most of my colleagues, as today’s world almost seems to demand a separation of private and work life. It seems a complex issue as to where the boundaries are in the artist teacher`s academic life, work life, artistic life and personal life. The images I work with now consist of spaces that I have taken for granted and now intend to explore. My past work lead Judith Hunter (2014) to question if my work is illustrating the possibility
that identity takes a composite form and is made manifest from our individual, agentive encounters with the world and our relationship with cultural and environmental influences, our “extended selves” (Bruner 1996).
Although the images in my new work appear to be landscape oriented there is always a human element present and the slightest element of human presence begins to tell a story. The ending is intended for the viewer to make or restory. The artist Peter Doig (Jones, 2015) works also with a similar intention giving the viewer only enough clues to make up their own narrative. These new
storyworld experiences (can) satisfy an ache that wells up over the dry days, months, and years of schooling. Inside the deep well of imagination, loosed to create and explore new landscapes, children find what they need. Cultivating playfulness, imaginating with a story, nourishes abilities to re-create” (Kuyvenhoven, 2009, pg. 143).
I intend to create work that engages others to participate in such a collaborative storytelling. I have been and intend to continue using mixed media with materials such as charcoal, photography, collage, newspaper, paints of different types and more.
One can follow my sketchbook and artistic developments at: http://www.christineanne.com/working-sketchbook-artists-journal/
References: Bruner, J., 1996. The Culture of Education. Mass. Harvard University Press. pp35-39 Hunter, J. (2014). VAP Peer Review Discussions on My Work. [online] Christine Anne. Available at: http://www.christineanne.com/vap-peer-review-discussions-on-my-work/ [Accessed 23 Oct. 2015]. Jones, J. (2015). Stroke of genius: Peter Doig's eerie art whisks the mind to enchanted places. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/may/16/peter-doig-painting-art-scotland [Accessed 23 Oct. 2015]. Kuyvenhoven, J. (2009). In the presence of each other. Toronto [Ont.]: University of Toronto Press.
Christine Anne Berger’s Blog
WONDERLAND Can the inclusion of arts-based research methods transform Swiss art education?