The goal of my work as a sound artist and a photographer is to document the dance between the organic and the synthetic. I love the juxtaposition of textures and the tension between nature and human habitation. The patterns of decay and erosion that occur in the environment, despite the efforts of humans to contain it, are to me extremely compelling. I am fascinated by the accomplishments and failures of adaptation, which resonate on both the macro and micro levels. The beauty and chaos of growth and degeneration have influenced my work both in sound and visual art for many years.
After composing many soundscapes and capturing the patterns of growth and decay, it was only natural that I progressed into filmmaking. My background in construction, electronics, and fabrication compliments and enables my desire to successfully integrate my treated films into an installation framework. I wish to further establish the visual medium as a non-linear, yet personal experience that can emphasize and promote the frail beauty of the natural world.
In these paintings idealism and disaster coexist with more everyday concerns like eating, sleeping, work and recreation. I begin with a landscape or architectural structure that captures my attention. This area then becomes a stage where I introduce a loose narrative based on common human experiences, both real and imagined.
My current body of work consists of two dimensional paintings that use bright color and a combination of figurative and abstract elements. I use color to impart a cultural vernacular: burlesque red, astro-turf green, hunter orange, dirty-pool blue. I live by the Laguna de Santa Rosa, a flood plain of nearly seventy-five hundred acres. Water all around me makes its way to the sea, not in a nice rushing river, but by seeping slowly in oily puddles, listing in gullies by freeways, and shimmering in endless flooded fields. This backdrop of water informs my paintings, providing a backbone onto which my imagination moves forward.
My work reflects time spent during my formative years in Las Vegas Nevada. Las Vegas is a place where exotic dessert landscape blends into an ever-changing skyline and it is a place where construction mirrors the earth’s regenerative nature, decomposition and growth. This relationship between the feral and the tame has become my focus of exploration. As a fine artist I strive to explore the majestic within the domestic, utilizing construction materials, along with household furniture, to reconstitute interior domestic space into fantastical woodland scenes.
My visual inquiry stems from the economic, social and cultural inconsistencies I observed while growing up in Mexico City. I am interested in investigating these discrepancies by juxtaposing extremes.
Working within this framework of extremes, my most recent work, triggered by a personal experience, investigates how abnormalities in brain function alter human personality and consciousness. In this series of work, I seek to evoke notions of disjointment, absence, and incoherence by inhibiting my practice – drawing with my left hand and using tools and materials that I wouldn’t normally use, such as thread and syringes. Through these interventions in process, I endeavor to build “connections” with my paralyzed (now deceased) mother: bridging the distance that exists between her and me, and expressing the simple feelings that she can no longer emote.
My ultimate goal is to continue a visual exploration between: the present and the absent, the normal and the abnormal, the weak and the powerful, the haves and the have-nots through painting and spatial studies.
Sommer Roman Sheffield
I’m interested in the relationship that people have with the material world. What sort of psychological, spiritual, emotional, and corporeal relationship or exchange occurs in both the making and encountering of physical objects? What does our immateriality have to do with materiality?
Discarded clothing, domestic textiles, furniture parts, old house paint…etc. serve as my main medium. Through manipulation and rearrangement, I engage with a series of physical and invisible forces: transformation, regeneration, ritual, sensation, intuition, and the imagination. Long hours and laboring with my hands are central to my process, and serve in altering their once mechanical & mass-produced identity to one of authenticity, bearing the mark of the hand. Relying on physical and visual sensation, they draw the viewer in for contemplative and meaningful encounters.
My practice calls attention to process and the potency of things made by hand… particularly in our ever fast-paced technological age that privileges sight over touch and idea over object, as ways of knowing.