Dorothea Osborn

The ephemeral, layered, and fragmentary aspects of contemporary society and personal life are an integral part of my work. The fleeting moment is a central experience however it becomes imbedded within layers of our existence. My artwork is an attempt to manifest that moment in physical terms of art work. Into this are entered notions about dichotomies and tensions between the physical world and the spiritual realm: materialism versus non-material; representation versus abstraction; humor versus solemnity. Science and spiritual; Layers of our lives.
Picasso said that no art is truly abstract because you always start from something. I sometimes establish a piece with some kind of imagery from life or sketches which can be altered, exaggerated, and/or simplified in a painterly language, both with a conscious and intuitive flow of materials and via a conscious level of semiotics. Some of the altered relationships are formalist structures. The formal elements and layers transform and evolve as signifiers in my work. Utilizing this process in artwork leads to tensions between the representational and abstract. My work lies between the two. The application, variety, and reworking of materials to create layers is crucial. It is extremely complex, leading to visible transparency and multiple layers. Just as is life.
I frequently employ and manipulate mixed media and create a hybrid type of artwork. These materials, which can include oils, drawing materials, fabric, a variety of papers, found objects and processed materials, unfold unique and sometimes surprising surfaces. A variety of tools, such as palette knives, kitchen and contractors’ tools, and found objects are utilized to construct and deconstruct the surface, and also, to create layers (layers of our lives) resulting in distinctive results.
In addition to paintings, drawings, hybrid pieces, and installations, I have recently been creating three- dimensional forms both from nature and man-made found objects, especially plastic. I use the contemporary concept of deconstruction and construction to reinvent microscopic species, insects and plants to create hybrid species and reinvented single celled organisms, commenting on humanity’s influence on our environment: The Anthropocene and, ultimately, our own existence. My current work is not based on a single motif but on various concepts, experiences, activities, people, and contemporary issues in spirituality and science. My work consists of process and associative reference where body, spiritual experiences and layers of our lives negotiate, compose, and harmonize together. The work investigates layers of our existence through the symbiotic relationship between science (microscopic species) and spirituality (sacred geometry).
My research continues to explore science and spirituality, produce multi-layered images with a symbolic component, using the visual symbols of sacred geometry and science imagery, tied in with personal historical layers.