Brenna Pepke, Artist Statement
Our bodies act as ever-changing vessels for the dichotomy of multiple realities, physical and metaphysical. My work seeks to explore the moments where realities become less definite, and the interconnectedness that is beyond flesh is exposed. Some works represent a reality that is closer to ours, drawing a comparison between the characterized world and our own. As figures morph and spaces lose space there is a push to reflect a more spiritual realm. Through the mixing of charcoal, oil paint, oil pastels, and other mixed media materials, I aim to edge closer to the feeling of a place, mental state, or body that is fluid in its own reality. The vibrant pinks, greens, and yellows, coupled with active charcoal marks, consume and engage the figures. This serves as a way to not only represent emotional shifts, but also physical shifts upon the body. Through mark-making, the faces and figures retain a dynamic quality, which refuses to believe that identities are stagnant.
Color and shadow fall upon the figure(s) who carve through interior and exterior scenes and interact with environments in which they exist. Gender, action, time, all exist, caught in a moment, while also constantly in flux. Both reappearing and once again disappearing. A world where the past and present are hardly distinguishable, and a world where objects and living things are somehow intertwined, or maybe have no difference at all. The repeated imagery of multiple faces references the multitudes of identities we all contain and also the emotions that we are capable of sharing across all people.
The images of love, sharing, strife, success, isolation, and community discuss the different stages and forms of healing. Some images depict the harm done or the pain felt while others display the result of that history. Identity and spirituality, race and equality, and history are addressed through the specific imagery of each work.
Western Kentucky University