Fran Bull-Statement

( bio / statement / work / download cv)

Making art is my way of life, one I have pursued since childhood. Through art I am able to express my thoughts, concerns, visions and all that I am. I can indulge in the joys of drawing, painting, and printmaking and sculpting, turning these activities towards the deepest and most serious ends as visual expressions. In an almost shamanic sense, I use the prima materia of my life as a resource for my art.

I tend to think in images, perhaps not to the fabulous degree of a Temple Grandin, but frequently my art arrives as a fully realized picture in my mind, along with the specific materials required for its realization.  Yet, as I begin to work, mining, digging, excavating, uncovering, even sleuthing are words that more accurately describe my process.  The journey from thought to thing can be arduous.

For subjects, I am attracted to the rough places and to the archetypal realms where myth holds sway. I enjoy fusing images and/or ideas from the ancient past with icons of modernity. These unlikely juxtapositions of image, narrative and time can result in surprising insights and new forms.

Lately I have been creating art that evolves from a gnawing concern for the issues before us as a global community: our planet, our politics and political leaders, the ubiquitous and destructive wars, our need for heartfelt, open communication as we attempt to resolve differences. The current installation, In Flanders Fields is one such expression: it is a plea for world peace and an end to all war. In this piece I juxtapose contemporary images with those of Classical Antiquity to form a dialogue across time, a syntactical non-sequitor and a new synthesis.

Regarding my influences, the list is long, because it encompasses the gifted people who have been my teachers and the artists who are friends and collaborators. I glean ideas from literature and from the Great Artists whose art provides continual inspiration and challenge. Rich learning comes from teaching and from my students. I draw inspiration from Nature, from music, poetry and theater—jokingly I say I am a person interested in everything– and it is true.

I have been given a life in art and I wish to repay the gift.  My art is that gift and my hope is that it enters the world as a vital and necessary protagonist.



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