Three times per year The Kiernan Gallery presents a solo exhibition of a non-photographic artist in conjunction with a photographic group show. Our Spring Featured Artist is Lynsey Nelson exhibiting her relief prints.
How did you begin your artistic career? What was your evolution from photography to printmaking?
I began my artistic career at a very young age. Both of my parents are printmakers and actually met while in the Printmaking Lab at college. Ever since I can remember I have always had a paintbrush, camera or anything involving art in my hands. Until college I was never really involved in printmaking. For an elective course while earning my Bachelors in photography I took a printmaking class and immediately feel in love with it. I continued to take classes even after I graduated.
Who are your artistic influences? Are there any particular artists working in printmaking or any other medium that have influenced this work?
My artistic influences come from all sorts of mediums like photographers Cindy Sherman, Diane Arbus and David Bailey; but also painters like Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo. I have always thought that inspiration doesn't just come from what you see, but also what you hear and what you read. I find inspiration in joys of reading or just looking outside.
Please explain the relief printmaking process and how your background in photography helps or inhibits the process.
When I first begin a block I draw out a general sketch of what I want the block to look like. However, I have to draw opposite of I how I want the final print to look, this is a process like film photography. Once the drawing is done I then carve out a piece of linoleum mounted onto a wood block. After the carving is finished the block is then inked, paper is laid on top and then together everything is run through the printing press. This produces my final Relief print.
Tied to You
Where do you see your work fitting into contemporary art world?
I don't really know how or where my work fits into the contemporary art world, mainly because I do not really think that it does fit it. I mean, I play with gore, beauty, symbolism, patterns and so much more. Though I have not seen work quite like mine in the art world, some people have related them to tattoo artist prints, Dia de Muertos type work and such. However, I try and let people draw their own conclusions and thoughts from my work. I like the idea of leaving my work open and letting people discover their own meanings in my work.
Let There Be Bees
Your subject matter contains various iconography and day of the dead influences. Where do these influences come from and what are you hoping to communicate by incorporating them into your work?
Religious iconography has always fascinated me, especially since most historical art includes some type of religious figure. I grew up seeing all three days Dia de Muertos and I always fascinated by the alters, sculptures, face painting and etc. This celebration of death and is so different than other religions.
Day of the Dead Girl
Finally, we ask this of all of our artists, what does success in art mean to you?
Success in art mean to me people enjoying my work, possibly learning something new and expanding their minds.
Lynsey Nelson’s solo exhibition is on view at The Kiernan Gallery through April 26.