Interview by Kati Driscoll
Today we’re pleased to launch a new feature on the blog: artist interviews. We’ll be highlighting some of our second year participants and, in the future, some of our new participants! Kicking off the series is Maggie McDermott!
First things first – the first state: have you always lived in Delaware? If not, what brought you here?
Born & raised in Delaware. I like the small town vibe and accessibility so I haven’t moved away (yet).
You work in a variety of mediums, which one is your favorite? Can you tell us a little bit about your approach with each?
My work depends on the time I have. I love color interaction (Josef Albers) and with collage, I was inspired by Picasso’s late work with paper. With charcoal, that was always my strongsuit. My approach with that is toning and using compressed charcoal and tiny erasers to make high-contrast pieces. Photography has grown on me a lot, as well. I enjoy using filters to bring out unique color and to manipulate form of the objects I shoot. Lots of balance between negative space and detail.
What was your work for last years show and what made you select that theme?
My work for last year’s show was Triangles and the feminine form. I chose that because I was feeling particularly drawn to the color palate in large-sized underground fashion magazines and the way I could combine geometric shapes with carefully chosen colors. The aesthetic created helped to emphasize how the master painters would use a triangle to create the “perfect composition” as it doubled as a form of my own feminine power. I used to also have a habit of over-working my drawing and paintings, so collage helped me to achieve that healthy simplicity to create a stronger focal point.
What themes do you think you’ll concentrate on this year and why?
This year I’m thinking of taking a more photographic approach with six-word poems incorporated. I’ve been writing a lot so I’d like to play around with the words within artwork. That, or, finding unique bottles to make fiber sculpture arrangements all in a line on a windowsill with lights. I think that might be more of a striking collection from afar. Maybe a six word poem attached to each one. It’s still in the works.
Your work tends to incorporate the female form. What draws you to this subject matter?
My gravitation towards the female form is an outward expression of the pride I have for my gender. Kind of a feminist approach without the militant attitude. I’m very intrigued by the connotations of being a woman as well as gender roles. I feel like women carry a lot of power and that can carry through quite well in art form.
What other subjects do you tend to gravitate toward in your work?
Other subjects that I like to play around with are mundane objects that can carry a large meaning out of context. I like a lot of found object art. I might do that combined with poems as opposed to photography. I’m kind of torn.
In addition to having a distinct art style, you are also notorious for your fashions. Tell us a little bit about your personal style.
I’m flattered! My personal style I have found is my way to use the body as a walking canvas. Anything can be aesthetically pleasing if you do it right, so with my ears I see them as a blank canvas as well as my body to be dressed. I use the same process getting dressed as I would painting a picture. Colors, patterns, metal, etc. It makes life more fun. My hair I see as a sculpture that can grown back and be re-vamped. (:
What other projects are you focusing on in 2013?
I have been focusing a lot on my newfound love of poetry. It’s clever and cryptic. I’ve found it to be such a release.
More of Maggie’s work can be found on deviantART. Thank you, Maggie!