For my art interpretation I would like to talk about the work by the artist Cindy Tower.
When I first came across this artist, her paintings was not what I had initially wanted to talk about. In fact, I looked her up based off of a series of reused bottles she painted on after she found out that one of her great-great-great grandfathers as actually a founder of Yosemite National park. She was primarily an instillation artist who did a lot of these paintings on different objects to recreate a forest for people to walk through. Once I got to her website, it was easy for me to tell that she seemed influenced by this in a lot of her work and I came across this painting on her home page.
This painting is much like how I feel the people who want us to go out to the national parks wants us to feel, if that makes any sense. In this painting there is a building which I am going to read as a symbol for our society. It is shown here as something that is very cluttered and actually kind of frustrates me personally because the way the painting was made makes the viewer feel like they are really standing in this space. This space also feels very dark and is painted in these dark browns, reds and blacks that make the inside of this building feel very unwelcoming also.
The light in this painting is coming from the outside. In this dark setting it seems like the bright colors and light is practically welcoming the viewer to go outside into this great big wilderness and get out of that old cluttered building.
This is how I feel most people perceive the national parks. As we discussed in class the parks are these spaces that are seen as a way of escape for the everyday person. Going out and hiking in these places are supposed to be a pleasant break from our busy and “cluttered” lives and as we read in the essay a time to regenerate our mental and psychical health.
I also feel like this painting evokes that feeling many people had when they first came here to America. They had good feeling when it came to exploring the wilderness. I feel like this painting does the same. Unlike some of the other paintings we have seen where the wilderness is usually depicted as a dark and gloomy place, this painting makes the wilderness seem like the positive side of the coin. It is the better choice out of the two scenes and if I was really standing in a space that felt like the building shown in the picture I would rather run out and go explore the great outdoors too much like I imagine early travelers felt when they went out to the National Parks for the first time.
These two pictures are from that instillation that I mentioned earlier when she found out that her great-great-grandfather Gaylen Clark helped in founding Yosemite. Her show was called “Westward expansion Inwards” and was installed as a national park of recyclables viewers hiked through complete with park signage and trail markers. I find this idea of recreating the parks interesting and it is a weird thought that maybe all we will have to look back on one day are these recreations of these National parks if we do not continue to preserve them. Towers even mentions on her page that the only American Frontier left to explore now is one’s own genetics and memory.
If you look at the two pictures on the right. I also wanted to say that I really enjoy these too. I like how she used the fabric of these wedding dresses to create a 3D effect on the falls. It also makes me wonder what kind of meaning that these dresses could reflect to these falls and parks. Right now all I an think of is something like ‘we as Americans are married to this land.’ Marriages for some are still viewed as a privilege and a good thing so maybe it is to get a feeling that we should feel honored to be on this land or something to that extent. I don’t know, I just like the way this makes a painting a little bit more than a painting and how if someone who was not easily interested in art may actually like these a bit more.
To sum all of this up, I find Cindy Towers work really interesting on so many levels, probably because she does so many different things. She also has a very interesting work process.
I found a video about her if anyone wants to watch it here.
OR If you want to browse through her website that’s here.