"A Vein is a River"
Biological life tends to represent itself with a flourish. We see it in the plumage that birds use for display, blooming brightly colored flowers, and even the long whipping tails of reptiles. I see it in the meandering veins, arteries, and organs hidden behind the scenes inside of our bodies. In my work I strive to emulate the energy and visceral qualities of our biological existence. Each piece is a celebration of the miraculous events that take place within and between our physical bodies.
My art practice is situated at the crossroads of ancient ritual and modern insight, caught somewhere between the play of painterly interventions and psycho-spiritual impressions, or even the kinds of processes attributed to ceremonial healings and ecstatic states of being. Acting as something of a cartographer of inner and outer worlds—and even of worlds turned inside out and upside down—my aim is nothing less than to capture the profundity attributed to scale and experience given over to us as collisions between different kinds of orders, be they sub-atomic, atomic, cellular, astronomical, corporeal, consciousness, etc.
Both active and eclectic, my compositions aim to capture a type of crossing between material and spiritual substrates. For me, this includes thinking about the body as a type of landscape of constant behind the scenes exchanges and interactions; of intentionality being embedded in the conflict between top-down and bottom-up processing; and of how, out of all the worlds that live and exist within other worlds is a kind or type of ‘telescoping effect’. In an effort to capture these mutually implicated states, my work contains references to evolution, shamanistic techniques, swarm behavior, theories of emergence, archetypal symbolism, fractals, totemic powers and many other cross-cultural symbols. This process helps me to create works that are informed by varied taxonomies of the body which are subtly woven together by diagramming different models of conscious experience as a kind of network of larger, molecular and metaphysical forces.
My paintings could be characterized as vivisections of the kind of visual struggles that are associated with the dialectics of existence as a perennial concern, and even with the very fabric from which our life-world is composed. They are a kind of psycho-synthesis of biological systems, cultural artifacts and my own encounters exploring nature, all of which provide the viewer with discrete instances of the infra and intra-biological relationship between plants, animals, and the Earth itself.
I want to activate the bodies of perception in my audience as a reflection of the motivated bodies that express themselves within us all—where the contemplative can merge with the visceral and bicameral and the spiritual is grounded in the being-ness of our everyday physical existence. Painting for me is the materiality of the body and bodies of work as-such, held out before us at the intersection of the working artist and the communion of worlds that live within us, all providing an arena for expanding the potential of expressivity and it’s implications today. It is this, as an authentic condition of speaking to the worlds both within and without, where I hope that my work might make an important contribution not just to how my audience receives ideas about painting in general or my work specifically, but much more importantly, to how they experience themselves as already caught up in infinite successions of action and reaction, not to mention how these cycles fit within the great chain of being.
—Bill Dambrova 4-10-17