Artist Profile: Rhia Hurt
These collages are comprised of acrylic paint on paper and archival digital photographs that depict the natural environment of the remote northern coast of California where I grew up, as well as industrial cities where I’ve lived, Oakland, CA and Brooklyn, NY. I make painted surfaces using brushes, my fingers, and by pouring and shifting acrylic medium. The momentum evident within the marks– whether chaotic, kinetic energy or calm, subtle gradations, relates to thoughts and feelings of these places. Colors of nature– leaf green, luminous, pale yellow and deep blues, contrast with colors of industry– charcoal black, acid green, and rust. By cutting, ripping, and recombining imagery I reorder incongruent visual ideas, arranging disparate colors, shapes, and textures until I find “rightness” in the composition. This process allows me to tap into unknown and unexpected visual and psychological territories.
The resulting collages reference natural, industrial, and imagined space. In the process of culling specific imagery, I want to understand how it is possible to be in many places at once (psychically) and how distinct experiences in distant places and time can overlap and be confined to one space inside of me and within one composition. My work is to manifest a visual representation of the complexities of attachment to place– to what is gone and what is still present in the form of memory.