Sharon Cutts—Artist Statement, February 2018
If you look at the body of art I’ve produced, you will know that I am restless. This restlessness is apparent from the different materials, techniques and forms I use as I try to extend my painting into new territory. In this continual reaching, I hope to bring the viewer along with me. A stretch for us both. Not to shock, but enough to move the conversation.
One of my techniques is to shoot yards and yards of painted canvas with a 12-gauge shotgun and use pieces of that canvas as if they were each a brush stroke. I’ve also hardened canvas to make it a structural element and at other times I’ve left the rectangle behind to make my paintings cut outs. Why do I do these things? I want to break out of the square myself, and the shotgun is because I like the high energy of propelling lead shot into canvas. I like the explosions, the boom. I want that tearing and piercing of the canvas, the booming of the gun, to be part of the origin story for each of my pieces.
In my most recent work, shot canvas is stretched, glued and stapled over undulating surfaces where topography becomes basic. The different views, the connection to elemental energy systems, and references to land formations are all conscious goals. Along with canvas mosaic, the undulating subsurface makes for varied colors and shading that increase movement and energy.
I’ve become sensitive about my changing body of work that is so restless and energetic. But in pushing myself the work just naturally comes out on a roller coaster of styles and techniques. My exploration of new approaches is ongoing, and it's a lot of fun.
After much experimentation with painting in high school, I continued my art as a ceramist at the University of Wisconsin. I taught and made ceramics in Racine, Wisconsin before moving to Chicago where I switched back to painting. I exhibited around the Midwest and then in 2006 moved to Providence, Rhode Island, to be with my new husband. The move was wrenching but now I am fully at home in my studio at 80 Fountain St., Pawtucket.
My most recent exhibits were this past summer at Candita Clayton Gallery, and in fall at TF Green Airport.