Colour On The MoveMarch 19, 2020
Shaking up the familiar with alternate visions of the world
By awakening new understandings and raising consciousness, street art can re-engage the viewer with their environment. Vancouver artist Sherri Rogers documents these colourful encounters, juxtaposing both natural and urban worlds with the vibrancy of human-generated interactions.
Vancouver has a contentious relationship with colour. Amid the blues and greys, street art brings life to the cracks and corners of the city, inviting people into neglected spaces. In our town, a lot of this work incorporates animals and the surrounding natural world. I see this as a way of transferring what we perceive as outside wilderness into the urban environment. These eruptions of colour bring beauty to dark neighbourhoods. By pulling people into what might have been a bleak alley, the artist creates an audience by making the space a safer, more welcoming place to be. Riding around on my bike, I was inspired to capture these environments through a series of painted landscapes. I called it “Bicycology” and treated it as a visual research project, where colour was a literary language and we were readers of the road.
Street art is a record of artists that passed that way before, and my project expanded to document the colourful work I saw across additional facets of our surroundings. My paintings show art on the sides of cars and trucks. As well as depicting moving murals, I wanted to explore the legacy of vehicles in the city – whether we travel by foot, bike or truck, street art forces the viewer to interact with the colour in their surroundings, in intentional ways and at different speeds.
I usually have a feeling for what I want to express, and then I start seeing things in the environment which support that idea. Once I’ve noticed something, I tend to spot it everywhere!Most of my paintings are set in reality, but I change things about the background or setting to support the theme. I have a hard time sticking to one idea for a long time, so I paint whatever I feel like, without trying to limit myself to one style. This may go against what art teachers and Instagram want artists to do – create a brand and stick with it – but I find I produce more work, am more engaged with what I’m painting and have a wider variety of art markets available to me.
In my latest work, I am interested in expanding the interaction between the viewer and the field of colour into an immersive experience. Solid backgrounds with minimal subject matter represent more than just aesthetics – they offer an exploration of the self. When does what we perceive as old come back to be seen as cool and vintage? My new series explores fashion, colour trends and technological progress, and the aesthetics of objects we retire to the trash – how is that which is new so quickly garbaged? We imagine these objects as part of the past, and yet they still float around us in the natural environment.
Learn more about Sherri Rogers and her work at: sherrirogers.com
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