Mary-Ann Kokoska


Artist Statement

My recent work addresses the changing nature and perceptions of landscape. I revisit and question the traditions of a picturesque vista in response to recent effects of global warming. I am particularly interested in currents of water and air, specifically the effects of monster storms and tornados. The resulting build up of clouds, torrential rains, high winds and tidal surges are the subjects for my imagery.

My work represents an environment in flux through the medium and process of drawing For me drawing is an inquisitive action that begins with making a "mark". In its directness such a 'creative vector' suggests a complexity of conceptual possibilities. These I construct, probe and unravel in the creative process. I compose in fragments, bits of representation and pieces of paper. Shapes are loosely organized, intentionally ambiguous and open ended such that one merges into another. Here I refer to sketches of nature and landscape, insects, animal and aquatic life. In times when such traditional processes are neglected in place of new technology, written and drawn observations continue to be important to me. The resulting images show allusions to a branch, a cloud, a tentacle, a snout, a tongue, a fin to name a few. Landscape is presented as animal, in a restless mutant form. The viewer makes associations via the fragments of information given. But the image is never given in its entirety and neither is the meaning. I deliberately play with ambiguity and uncertainty.

The installation format and grand scale is intended to fully engage, overwhelm and even consume the viewer. It verges on being a spectacle and touches on characteristics of the Sublime. I often reference dramatic imagery in art history such as Leonardo's cataclysmic storms and deluges, Casper-David Friedrich's Sea of Ice and Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawa to elicit an emotional response and contextualize meaning.