Cynthia Back

  • "Tornado", print collage, gouache on paper, 16" x 20"
  • "Caught in a Wave", print collage, gouache on paper, 30" x 38", 2013
  • "Disasters of Environment: Forest Fire", print collage, gouache on paper, 12" x 16", 2015
  • "Disasters of Environment: colony collapse", print collage, gouache on paper, 12" x 16", 2015
  • "Fracking Chemical Leak", print collage, gouache on paper, 43" x 54", 2015
  • "Into the Abyss", print collage, gouache on paper, 22" x 30", 2015
  • "Mudslide", print collage, gouache on paper, 84" x 43", 2014

We see environmental degradation all around us. My prints and collages are a response to what I see and read about everyday. At the same time I’m striving to convey my deep attachment to this natural environment; it’s ever-changing pattern, color, and shape. This tension between these oppositional forces is important in my work.

My father, diagnosed with cancer, underwent a major operation and a week later tripped and fell into a glass cabinet, toppling it and shattering every piece of china contained within. The image of him sitting there surrounded by broken shards haunts me. Why and how lives can be changed in a minute, and often are, through illness, loss of job, relationship, or sudden environmental disaster, resonates. The violence of nature and its increasing extremes, arbitrariness and changeability is a constant metaphor for me of the fragility of life. Whether it is natural or man-made or the interaction of the two, I am drawn to address this in my work.

In my artmaking I stress recycling – older work, prints and paintings on paper, whether as substrates for collages or cut and torn, the images and objects chosen have symbolic and emotional content, reusing and valuing the past, the forgotten, the unsuccessful. Prints, combined with paint, become collages, cut for color, detail, and pattern. The collages become patchwork quilts, a kaleidoscope of detail, and an emotional response to a changing world.

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  • Artist Info

    • 28 Pennock Terrace
    • Lansdowne PA 19050
    • 267-975-9743

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