Petter consciously chose her medium, newspaper, for several reasons. “My fascination with newspaper consists not only of its being the diary of our lives, it also presents me with a black/white/and limited color palette which has always been my choice. Normally known as a fragile material, through my manipulation of the paper, it is transformed into a very strong and solid material.”
Petter constructs each work by weaving newspaper (rolled tightly into tubes along its length and sealed by varnish), using a custom self-built loom. The technique permits her to create a heavy texture structure which she refers to as “a surface of controlled chaos”, which she often then treats as a canvas by applying paint to the finished surface.
The Exhibition will feature a series of Madonna and Maesta style images in a range of sizes, from small to very large. The artist’s “heads” or portrait style works in general reflect the influence of Renaissance and Byzantine styles and approaches, as well as extended time she has spent in Italy and Mexico.
The images in each of Petter’s works resemble painterly depictions from a distance and the presupposed direct confrontation between viewer and subject are known to draw the viewer closer, where their material reality becomes fully revealed, not unlike a Mosaic.
The artist intends no statement of meaning in each work and explains, “The image is the origin of a story formed by any spectator.” But the connection between the necessity of distance to view an oversized image from daily life and it’s deliberate construction through newspaper (the collective diary of our lives), could certainly encourage us all to step back to see the bigger picture, metaphorically.
Please join us on August 14 to celebrate the opening of “Portraits”. Petter’s first exhibition at Tansey Contemporary since the transition from Jane Sauer. The artist will be present.