I utilize mineral structures as the primary source imagery in my work. When examined closely, the crystalline structures appear to be miniature worlds; an uncharted terrain, ancient archeological site or pioneering architecture. I am intrigued by the variations in form, color and complexity that make naturally occurring formations feel as though they are engineered objects. Through formal choices I redefine what that source structure is, allowing it to bounce back and forth between the natural and the manmade.
The goal of mineralogy is to identify, define and classify minerals; Scientific illustrations describe the angles and planes that distinctly define the form of a particular mineral. My goal is to obfuscate and decontextualize those same forms. Through manipulation of scale, flattening surfaces, and revealing lines or planes that are not intended to be visible, I transform the original object. What began as a visually descriptive representation of a solitary mineral structure now reads as interior spaces, architecture or landforms. I am interested in the way one interprets gradient, surface and space when there is no concrete “up” or “down”. A gradient may read as having depth or alternatively can be interpreted as a reflective highlight. Forms may appear to recede or protrude depending on application of color and location within the composition.
At their core, my drawings and paintings are intended to create a sense of environment. They hang in the balance between familiar and completely fictional at the same time. Do these fractured spaces really exist?
Artworks by Rebecca Rothfus Harrell are included in the following CAMIBAart exhibits: