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Maysey Craddock


Artist Statement

My studio in downtown Memphis is in an old medicine factory at the end of a dead-end street.  Last in a row of empty warehouses, the building is an outpost of long-gone industry, surrounded by parking lots turned fallow and walls crumbling onto railroad veins.  It is an atmosphere where nature constantly and relentlessly reclaims the man-built environment.  

I am drawn to the forgotten, to the mysterious traces of memory in our physical world: the river, the ruin and liminal space are frontiers for visual exploration.  My work references objects and spaces that continue their slow transformation after someone turns away.  Rich, charged, vibrating places.  Rooted on the edges of our world, these thin spaces are quietly pulsing with a kind of murmuring remembrance.  The crumbling structure with flowering vines pushing through, the drape and sway of a fence that separates nothing from nothingness, the silhouette of disuse.  Neglected and abandoned, they are full of debris, detritus, an active collapse.  My paintings pursue the sense of place these sites inspire and seek to reflect a narrative of transition, entropy and haphazard abstraction.

Starting with photographic documentation of these sites, I work through an intricate and laborious process of tracing, drawing and layering of gouache and watercolor that puts the painting at a remove from the stark reality of its origin.  Through this method, the image is abstracted and reduced to its essence while the inherent ephemerality of the site is echoed in the material terrain of the found paper.

                                                                                                  -Maysey Craddock, 2013