Leslie Schomp: Artist Statement

Jul 28, 2014 8:10PM

I am creating a series of drawings and sculptures that act as my memoirs. My work explores self-portraiture as a subject. To look at myself is the starting point in navigating my world. The work is not a record of exact events but more an examination of relationships, roles, and moments. Through my drawings, I examine myself as a reflected image, as well as a biological and psychological being. I find this an intriguing challenge because the edges of the self are fluid and difficult to define. Biologically, one’s edges exchange moisture, air, and heat with the environment. Psychologically, our boundaries of mind and heart become unclear as we yield to and resist those around us. I find the self is always changing. Our reflections change constantly in light, our bodies with heat and growth and our minds with information gain and loss. Lately I am looking at animals and their behavior to try to understand myself. Children are often taught about the world through stories of animals emulating humans. It is the reverse I am interested in. I look at seeing myself as an animal to find my relationship with nature. I see myself as very much a part of nature as opposed to apart from it.

Inspiration for the format I often work in comes from my fascination with historical samplers, pressed flower specimens, diaries, miniatures, embroideries, Victorian mementos, and tokens of love. My self-portraits in dollhouse frames are smaller than my thumb. Changing scale allowed me to reconsider how I draw my head. Much of my work is stitched and I play with a variety of stitching or ways of drawing with thread and cloth. I also use a variety of materials such as hair, pressed flowers from my garden, vintage cloth, and clothing. Stitching and pulled threads allow line to be both physical and illusory.

––Leslie Schomp