Patty Smith: Artist's Statement


I address, courage, fear, confidence, and self-doubt in my drawings, prints and animations. The images are layered landscapes, strewn with obstacles.

The work calls up the fear and the allure of the unknown, the possible consequences and potential rewards of navigating unfamiliar territory. I was

influenced in 2007 by the press coverage of the U.S. action to build fences to keep out illegal immigrants. As the images evolve so does the notion of barriers.

Barriers, we all face them, not only physical but also psychological barriers. What prevents us from getting to where we want to go? What do we hope to

discover and achieve if we break through and get to the other side? Are the opportunities worth the risks? The questions and the work are on going. In 2012

I began collaborating with Claire Fouquet, an artist/animator, working in Paris and Angoulême France. Barriers is a series of drawings and prints that I began

in 2007. Fouquet had been working with a similar theme in her animations. Crowds and Barriers is a series of monotypes and animations developed with Fouquet

in 2012. Obstacle Illusion is a series of drawings and monotypes that we created for animations and projected videos for music, dance and installation. We have

produced two documentary films and most recently an artists' book, Et si nous y allions de l'autre Cote... (Were we to go to the other side...) With the media currently

focusing attention on international as well as national immigration crises, we are besieged with the issue of barriers. As we consider the suffering and triumphs of

migrants, we can also reflect on the contributions made by newcomers to the layers of our historical, cultural, and experiential landscape. The series Geology/Genealogy

represents this broader probe. While concept is fundamental to my work, process and materials contribute significantly. The meditative practice of building drawings and

prints, the investigation of materials, the mark making, the evolution of one image to the next, the edition printing and the resulting multiples are integral to the

representation of the idea. I am committed to craftsmanship. Movement is now a consideration. Collaboration, animation and film have presented more challenges

but also more opportunities.