Martha Gannon

Wistful Intentions
Thu Oct 4, 2001 - Sat Nov 10, 2001

Austin artist, Martha Gannon, created mixed media works for an exhibition titled Wistful Intentions on view at Women & Their Work. Ms. Gannon stated, “My work is an exploration of memory. Each piece is a composition of memory fragments; these fragments occur beside and inside each other; they overlap, forming layers, referencing time.” The artist’s subjective eye is her point of departure.

Writer John Ewing explained, “Gannon starts with photographic documentation of specific West Texas landscapes and subtly shifts the frame of reference further and further away from nature. This results in radically altered West Texas friezes that, although recognizable, bear little relation to actual place. It’s a place in the mind’s eye, informed by emotion, memory and cultural markers. Digitally cropped and stretched, the color images recall romantic, Cinemascope notions of the West– it’s blue sky, bone-dry terrain and relentless horizontality.”

Gannon’s art laid bare the tension between the mind’s struggle for accuracy and its desire to construct a separate world of imagination. The works were backlit with fluorescent lighting, the manipulated images are presented in industrial strength boxes constructed from brightly colored anodized aluminum. Pressed wildflowers were in the foreground scattered in clusters across the front of each frieze. Her sculptural works were mirror-like portals where perceptions collided with the physical world.