Gina Litherland has been active in the visual arts since the mid-1970s, exploring photography, performance, drawing and painting. She studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her paintings, drawings, and articles have been published worldwide in journals and periodicals.
Litherland has always been interested in the interplay between myth, the natural world, and the domain of dreams and memory. As a child she spent many hours exploring natural wooded areas and empty lots inhabited by multitudes of insects and wildlife. This, along with a fervent interest in reading, particularly fairy tales, laid the foundation for her current investigations as an artist. Much of her work is inspired by folklore, myth, and literature reflected in her own personal preoccupations, specifically themes of desire, femaleness, the natural world, the human/animal boundary, children's games, ritual, intuition, and memory. The painting techniques that she uses, traditional indirect oil painting techniques similar to those used by fifteenth-century Sienese painters, combined with textural effects created by using various tools other than the paint brush, allow her to create a detailed, layered, and complex surface of images recreating the experience of looking at the forest floor with its rich blanket of diverse matter in various stages of decay. Suddenly, an object emerges and comes sharply into focus.
While some of her paintings begin with an idea that she has been ruminating over for some time, or are inspired by a particularly compelling book or folktale, others occur quite spontaneously, beginning with a decalcomania underpainting which suggests forms that emerge and develop into a personal narrative. The act of painting becomes a complete process of revelation. A mysterious narrative emerges, Rorschach-like, from a turbulent, chaotic ground of color and texture. Myths, dreams, memories, and phantoms of pigment suspended in medium are in continuous dialogue with one another. Dormant images ignite slowly, as our eyes adjust to their dark submerged brilliance.
Litherland is represented in the Chicago area by Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery.
Gina Litherland Exhibition Ends May 20, 2017.
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