Contemporary Abstract Painting

By Maria Hill

Artist Statement

Curiosity about our world has been a driving force in my life and my art.  Why we create the structures we have and why we hold on to them when they no longer serve us is an ongoing source of wonder.  Shapes are my way of exploring questions about structure.  Why do some work and others not?  Sometimes psychologically, sometimes humorously, I continually look for new perspectives.  The quirky biomorphic shapes that I draw and paint enable me to ask all sorts of questions about shape as conflict, as conditioning and knowledge systems.  The exploration is never ending.

I am a synthesist which means that I take different elements and combine them into something new rather than deconstructing the existing.  I work from that place which is a next step: that step into the unknown where the past meets the new and intuition and spontaneity meet wisdom.  Edges are very important because they represent an intersection between any number of different elements, patterns and possibilities.  Patterns are generally subsystems of the larger more holistic shape elements in my work.  I am continually exploring the patterns I observe: their contributions, limits and interrelationships.  

My interest in patterns includes the human developmental model Spiral Dynamics, which describes the replicating cultural models of human evolution.  These models are used by many advanced countries, including South Africa, Canada and the Netherlands, to develop more complex integral thinking and problem solving possibilities for their societies.  Spiral Dynamics models offer a fresh look at history and the opportunity to reevaluate the contributions and negatives of the past.

Related subjects outside of art that also interest me are sociology, economics and ecology.  All of these subjects become part of my paintings because they are always in some way a part of what I am thinking about.  I am a big picture person who likes to tie the big picture and details together.  I create art from an ecological perspective, which sees everything as part of an interrelated whole even if we do not yet understand the relationships.  All of these investigations help me discover and question how structures and the decisions that support them are made.