Elizabeth Ferrill

The vast solitude of the American landscape is the subject matter of my work, particularly places that seem cold but emotionally charged, dehumanizing yet full of personal experience. This includes empty public places that are usually packed with people, spaces that remain tensely suspended within a quiet moment between what has occurred in the past and what will occur in the future. I utilize the pochoir technique to create my works on paper. Pochoir is a printmaking/painting method traditionally used to hand color images in books. This stencil medium that employs cutout shapes and gouache creates solid, often overlapping forms that converge into hard-edged compositions. Each overlay of shape and color responds to the simplified and functional architectural properties of airports, motels, border crossings, bus stops, and other publicly utilized institutions. The stencil functions as a layer of mediation that implements a control system to my mark-making process. The subjects in the work are all familiar yet underexamined peripheries of the American vista. The pieces exist as simplifications of the complex and paradoxical atmosphere of the public world. I explore public spaces with a sincere quest for beauty while at the same time acknowledging their tension, functionality, and ability to inherently make a statement about our behavior as human beings.