CHRISTINA MOBIJOHN MAILE
I have always been interested in how things are made. From childhood, I was constantly taking things apart and one way or another putting them back together. Becoming a landscape architect was one way of creating larger assemblies.
I came to painting and printmaking via the practice of architectural rendering When I took a water-based monoprint workshop, I discovered a method that combined planning and accident. A combination that reminded me of the wilderness, and so appealed to me.
As a playwright I discovered that feminist narrative shares with landscape architecture similar notions of scarred topography and manipulated perspectives.
When I work I know I am making an illusion – perspectival, mythical, grammatical, referential, musical, social through which feelings, ideas and the energy of the piece are expressed. The external shape of the piece is a combination of the hidden and the visible. an illusion of volume and color incorporated into the deeper illusion/allusion of memory, montage and meaning. Often I find a piece has made me, rather than the other way around.
Through sculpture, I began to re-visit complicated family tales of life in Trinidad and in Borneo, of colonialism, violence and the world of spirits and ancestors which filled me with secret and unexpected memories. Sometimes I have carved a memory, rather than remember it.
My painting teacher Dan Rice, a second generation abstract expressionist, said that a work of art requires three things: to be itself, to move us, and to look like nothing else.
Making art is to experience your own experience.