I am an artist whose work offers insight into the changing urban environment through creative observation. My artworks are layered multi media compositions based on a photograph I take and then transform using a unique combination of skilled printmaking techniques and spontaneous expressionistic painting.
My body of work is a study of how individual experiences define one's environment. The subject matter is buildings destined for demolition that represent a past experience I want to preserve. Much like nostalgia brought on by a forgotten taste, smell or image, mundane buildings and street corners become important symbols of time and place that echo a collective experience. Often it is only through unexpected loss that the value of what has gone is realized. My work is an acknowledgement of what has passed and its importance to the present. This past can be any time from just a mere moment ago to something taken many years before. Familiar imagery can freeze time, allowing individual histories to be recalled and shared once more.
After graduating from Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, I moved to California in 1991. It was here, after living in San Francisco for about 7 years, that I began to see the city change. Without warning, a building on my bike route to work disappeared. The empty space was a visual shock at first, followed by an unexpected sense of nostalgia and longing for what was there before. Once it was gone, there was this inexplicable sense of emotional loss. These first experiences compelled me to look more carefully at my surroundings. I discovered that no matter how mundane or non-descript a building may appear, it has a visually significant role in the surroundings that give one a familiar sense of place. I saw the need to document streets and buildings barely noticed before because I knew that once they were gone from the present, they would only exist in the past.
Stacey M. Carter, 2012