Grasp was made in 1997 and was returned to the
studio from the collection of an old friend who was downsizing her home.
The resulting work is Grasp/Release, 1997/2020
I would never set out to make something that looked like this work.
It is the pure result of following through on intentions, regardless of outcome.
a weather pattern
Grasp/Release, 1997/2020, 54” x 54”, wax and oil on canvas
Grasp, 1997, 54” x 54”, wax and oil on canvas
As this pandemic unfolds, the melting continues…
I made it through almost all of the 36 panels that constituted blessure, 1994.
A very few I gifted, a very few others I have kept…for now.
The accumulated wax resides in a glass vessel, a kind of core sample of
the material, labour and intentions brought to bear 27 years ago.
Painted between Spring 1993 and fall 1994, these panels were among my
first stable encaustic paintings. Having experimented extensively, through
trial and error in 1991-92 I established a method that ensured good adhesion of
layers of wax to canvas. Essentially, by eliminating acrylic gesso I was able
to fuse layers of wax into a solid, yet flexible surface. Melting them now, I
am remembering this process of discovery. I am also remembering how much time
it took to construct these deceptively simple, seemingly monochromatic panels.
The laying on of marks, layering “skins” of wax, building it up to a
flesh-like surface, burying the cell-like corpuscular fields of reds and browns
with pale yellow and pink. A broken portrait then…a condensed memory today…
My younger brother, Bart, was entering into the last days of his life,
and I spent time with him, and his wife and daughter, in clinics and hospitals
and at home, as he grappled with the multitude of conditions that all came from
diabetes. He had doctors who focussed on his pancreas and blood sugar levels.
Another team oversaw the dialysis he needed as his kidneys failed. Another team
for his failing eyesight. All fragmented conversations, crossed wires,
diagnoses and plans that sometimes aligned and often collided.
The wax stood for the vulnerability, the fragility,
and also the resilience. The grid, an abstract attempt to put the chaos into
some kind of order.
Everything is always in transformation including grief, including resilience.
From January through December 2020 I will be transforming (almost*) all the remaining encaustic paintings in my archive (dating from early 1990’s to 2019) into a new body of condensed artworks.
This process will involve re-melting paintings made of pigmented wax into new sculptural forms. Stretchers will be donated for re-use and the canvas will be transformed into a large-scale work TBD. Watch this blog and follow @nicolecollinsartist below for future highlights.
Anyone interested in watching the surprisingly engaging process of wax melting, as well as joining in an open and ongoing discussion of mortality, transformation and art is welcome to visit; send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
All works available for purchase through the studio