Margaret Withers is a warm, friendly and clearly gifted artist who I met on social media. Her work really has a fluid, organic quality that I love. We talked about Margaret’s work, life and what she thinks it’ll take to get more people inspired by contemporary art.
MICHAEL: Hi Margaret, It looks like you’ve conquered numerous genres with your work. However, I think I see a common thread. Is it a fascination with the organic or perhaps organisms? I’m sensing a “living fluidity” in your work. I don’t know. How do you see it?
MARGARET: Hi Michael, thank you for saying that, but I feel more like an explorer than a conqueror. I’m not fascinated with organic shapes or forms by themselves. I’ve tried to paint straight up abstract, but somehow the painting just feels incomplete to me. I’m not sure if this feeling of incompleteness stems from a lack of belief that the painting can stand on its own and that it’s interesting (to me) or if it’s from my own need to create a story and puzzle out of my cast of characters.
Even my earlier work, that at first glance, looks like only organic shapes, in reality isn’t. In those paintings, I made clay heads, cast them in bronze, set them in boxes and then pushed those boxes into the canvas. Or I just attached the clay heads directly to the canvas. The clay heads evolved into an oddly looking ‘chicken guy’, who then morphed into my 135 ‘guy’, which then evolved into a mouth with eyes, and now with my new time::second series (on canvas), he’s in the house or completely absent; on my works on paper he still around. It’s an odd evolution of a character that I still haven’t figured out. But this character is only half of the story because I also greatly enjoy playing with the physics of paint and the principles of color and texture. The color and texture can certainly be seen as a ‘living fluidity’ and in that regard, I do try to capture an internal earth or space.
#checkyourselfie – a social media campaign & photography exhibit
Opening: February 6th, 6-9pm
Exhibit runs from Feb 6th – Feb28th