Featured Artist – Gissette Padilla

5936664My work addresses different notions of the psyche; including the visualization and experience of memory, underlying aggression, and our physical space. Using painting, drawing, and various printmaking techniques, I construct multi-layered images that evoke the experience and residual energy of fragmented spaces, with the consistently shifting moments that make up a single memory. My work is an amalgamation of real, distorted, and perceived experience built from fragments of personal photographs, memories, and found images. Visually representing both the construction and crumbling of memory, the work exists in the unrefined space between past and present.

Memory itself is a diverse set of cognitive capabilities in which we retain information and reconstruct past experience, usually for present purposes. This human ability to conjure up past moments and events of our lives is both familiar and puzzling and is a key aspect, in the creation of our individual personal identities. There is a close relationship between remembering, perceiving, and imagining. Memory itself has many sections; episodic memory deals with personal memories that contain sensations, emotions and personal associations of a particular place and time and it’s where the context of my work begins.

Visual memory is the part that preserves some characterist6533603ics of our senses pertaining to visual experience. We are able to store information that resembles objects, places, animals or people in sort of a mental image. I enjoy exploring how spaces are constructed, viewed, and experienced and how an idealized memory can easily crumble with present evaluations of them.

The images of my own childhood are referenced and layered to make up a series of moments. I am interested in how memory is always being altered and re-hashed. The work explores different facets of perceived spaces and layered images. The patterns I use represent the noise and static that is created in the mind as if to fill in the gaps of what’s missing.

As an Immigrant from Venezuela since the age of 8, my home is cut in half by where I was born and where I grew up. Both are equally home to me and as an artist I represent a larger whole of immigrants. To me our home is visualized and experience by the combination of our cultural history and the place we choose to call home as adults.

The history of my process in constructing my work is an important element. To be able to see through the layers of the work washes; pattern, and line combine together yet retaining their individual identity. My work walks the line between figurative, representational, and abstract art. With the use of pattern, color, and line, I am able to create a space that visually represents how a memory might look over time with missing parts and images overlapping each other.