Loren Erdrich: I came upon vials of raw organic pigments. The names intrigued me: lapis, turmeric, certain flowers, crushed snails, saffron, cobalt. They brought to mind a preciousness I, and perhaps my subjects too, felt lacking – both in substance and in material.
What does it feel like to inhabit a specific body in this climate? I find emotions more communicative than the most in-depth explanations. I gather my source imagery based on the effect it produces, rather than any moral assessment about the actual thing/event shown. I am drawn to images that suggest a struggle between control and mayhem: a condition I identify with.
As I brush these powdered pigments onto wet paper, the color shoots through the water and over the page. The water itself destroys the rigidity of the paper; it destabilizes all boundaries it encounters. I coerce these pools of color into figural forms, yet natural drying patterns largely dictate the appearance of the end result. Once more I recognize the feeling of inhabiting a body, this body, in the push/pull between the deliberate and the unintentional.
Title: I Cannot. Date: 2017. Format/Materials: Raw organic pigments and watercolor on paper. Dimensions: 30″x 22″. Picture Credit: Loren Erdrich