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Suzanne Nacha

Origin Series


Combining the subjects of the underworld and the corporeal, with a simplified approach to image making, the paintings that make up the Origin series operate as both visual sign and physical trigger. Basic structural forms are manipulated in order to create a sense of physical unease: elements are held open, held down, or at times appear off balance through the pushing and pulling of interior spaces and unsteady round compositions. Imagery originally derived from underground caves, mine tunnels and rail systems, provide a contrast between industrial structure and a more primitive reading that comes from a notion of the underworld as less evolved and archaic.


Through the manipulation of imagery, unstable bodies emerge as anthropomorphic elements allow holes, tunnels, gaps etc, to illicit a somewhat carnal response. Most recent compositions in the form of diptychs, suggest a fraternal communication between spheres. Many of these works have names derived from the descending rings of Dante’s version of hell. Specifically, my interests are in adopting those names that continue a tendency toward a human countenance (and in the case of Dante’s underworld – those that involve human sin). In the work entitled the gluttonous, for example, (named after Dante’s third circle), the gross manipulations of a tunnel system and associated ground have turned this imagery into a pliable cartoonish body appearing to strain against a rigid rail system holding it firmly in place. Here, as in many of these visual plays, the opposition of the familiar against the indecipherable; the industrial against the organic struggle toward a formation of meaning shaped by clues both physical and visual.