Buenos Aires by Cynthia Nawalinski

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Artist Statement I cut, erase, burn, draw and paint on maps, adding a new layer of information to the map. The shapes and patterns I use are taken from the map or derived from the landscape: waves, mud cracks, lake shapes or leaf cell patterns. When looking at a map, we look for clues to the map’s location, a place name or geological feature we recognize. My work disrupts this process by obliterating or obscuring information. Pierced patterns expose the fiction inherent in using a two-dimensional sheet of paper to represent a three dimensional landscape. By emphasizing aesthetic qualities of the map and obliterating or suppressing it’s functional qualities, I transform it from a scientific document into an aesthetic object.

Artist Bio

Cynthia Nawalinski received her B.F.A. from Cornish college of the Arts (1983) and her B.S. in Entomology from U.C. Berkeley (1977). She works primarily in the areas of sculpture and printmaking. In the last few years Cynthia has renewed her activity in artist’s books and mail art, and recently co-hosted a mail art call. Inspired by things she sees while walking, both in cities and wild places, she looks for patterns in her surroundings like tree bark, mud cracks, and reflections on the surface of water. She is fascinated by water in all of its states and forms, by visual depictions of mathematical concepts, and by patterns taken from the world, like those seen on maps. Her interest in maps evolved from her travels, particularly from using topographic maps while hiking in the North Cascades. Caldera Arts awarded Cynthia with an artist residency, and Oregon Arts Commission awarded her an Individual Artist Fellowship to further develop her work with maps. She shows work in Portland, Oregon, as well as Seattle and Stehekin, Washington.