I construct spatial experiences that serve as metaphors for the incorporeal states of the human experience: loss, possibility, change. Fascinated by how physical environments and architectural structures resonate with emotional states of being, I use my memory and perceptions of particular places and events to create allegorical space through installations and prints.

Inspired by watching party boats traverse the bay beyond my bedroom window in Portland, I made Echolocation, a portrait of a boat on a moonlit night. Its contrasting materials of bronze and printed tissue paper evoke disorienting sensations simultaneously of weightlessness and mass. The rich printed darkness of the paper functions metaphorically for the primordial abstraction of change that reveals itself as the bronze boat (serving as a symbol for the world itself) adapts to mysterious and changing conditions.

I use both two and three-dimensional strategies in my art practice to explore the nature of imagination. I often depict spaces that carry the imprint of latent activities: a fair ground for an annual festival, a drive-in movie screen in winter, or a ski lift in summer. My current series of etchings, Navigation Lights, focuses on depictions of lights at night. I intentionally use specific mark-making techniques and choice of paper to amplify the ephemerality of my subjects. Working in intaglio, I blow powdered copy toner onto copper plates. The fine black powder is heat-set and the plates etched. Until the images are etched into permanence, the toner is transient and mutable, and I am able to act and react to the images forming on the plate. This technique mimics the intention underlying my overall studio practice—to pin down the fleeting thus allowing for a slower and closer examination.

I work with paper because of its ephemeral nature and its easy expression of ordinariness. With each project I exploit new facets of paper’s rich identity. It’s commonness presents ways to both connect with and surprise a range of audiences. I hope to achieve a sleight of hand in my work that enchants the viewer, and it is my long involvement and mastery over materials that enables me to do so.

more about Carrie…

Carrie Scanga is a printmaker and installation artist. Her works on paper, artists books, and installations have been exhibited in over 50 solo and group exhibitions and received critical recognition in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the popular art blog, Printeresting.org. Her recent notable exhibition venues include: the Portland Museum of Art (Portland, ME), the Kingston Museum of Contemporary Art (Kingston, NY), PLUG Projects (Kansas City, MO), Islip Art Museum (East Islip, NY), St. Louis Craft Alliance (St. Louis, MO), Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Philadelphia, PA), El Conteiner (Quito, Ecuador), Janet Turner Print Museum (Chico, CA), and the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (New Paltz, NY).

She has been awarded two consecutive fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a fellowship from The MacDowell Colony, and residencies at the Blue Mountain Center, Fundación Valparaíso, Sculpture Space, Artspace, and the Salina Art Center. Grants from the Pollock Krasner Foundation and the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation have supported the development of her work.