Artist Statement 2023 -Leslie Wagner
Since the beginning of the pandemic, my interests in zen, archetypal psychology, nature, and dreams started to inform one another. My research through mind-body associations like sensory practices and present-moment awareness practices in meditation, and studying where dreams and waking correspond became increasingly important. Tracing my hand repetitively, memories, and metaphoric imagery, expressed liminal experiences. These interests bloomed in isolation and continue to unfold as I explore the changes that have occurred as a result of the pandemic. My creative processes are an exploration of impermanence and interconnectedness through a view of undifferentiated reality in relation to self and community. I work in many mediums and on different surfaces.
Watercolor works on paper are made of controlled circles drawn and filled by hand, and contrast the oil works which are made by uncontrolled dispersing of paint. All of my work is informed by my meditation practices. The “Enso” is a symbol of emptiness and wholeness in Zen. These oil works are made by dispersing paint with different liquids; then evaporation ensues, naturally leaving circles of residue. I then scratch and sand away like creating a palimpsest or new historical record. With these methods I explore time, disintegration and the consequences of action or non-action on the environment, human connection, and interdependence.