Exploring the concepts of separation and convergence, artist Martha Saunders draws inspiration for her latest exhibition, INTERIOR FOG, from a large bank of windows in her industrial loft/studio space in Charlottesville, VA. Incorporating grid lines referencing paned windows into her multi-layered encaustic paintings, Saunders' recent works depict interior and exterior views that have merged, resulting in imagery that is wistful, unfettered, and dreamlike. These blended vantages, which move between figurative and non-objective forms “speak to in-between states, where boundaries are blurred and contents co-exist.” This is beautifully represented in Saunders’ paintings where waxy lustrous surfaces move from opaque to translucent, hiding or revealing embedded materials, both organic and man-made.
In addition to her paintings of liminal spaces, is an ongoing series of works that Saunders refers to as the “Reading” series, which began as an attempt to visualize the act of reading. Saunders states that her intention is “to make a physical description of the act of decoding language and turning mental activity into a physical object.” The act of reading manifests in Saunders’ paintings as the figurative elements that are characteristics of books, including pages, texts, and columns.
According to Saunders, these new works endeavor “to construct environments that tap into our collective desire for something tangible as a way to access the intangible,” adding that, “There is a shifting alertness to each piece where physical and mindful sensations overlap.”