Artist Statement



I have had a longtime affair with natural forms. This past year I fell in love with the huge dying, windblown leaves in the garden. I began drawing them - re-shaping, crumpling, distorting them. Leaves are messengers. I have been seeing and hearing them. The forest floor, the backyard, the path is strewn and littered with leaves. They follow me into the house, into my studio and into my shoes. They drift around, scatter and settle in corners. In all the tenuousness and fragility of life, the leaves are what is left and what will return.
I want to mirror this in my drawings.
My newest drawings form Fragile, an installation of abstracted leaf “portraits” -  pastel drawings pinned across the gallery walls at varying intervals and heights, reflecting how we see leaves. Each piece is linked by line and placement, creating a rhythmic narrative.
I included six small, rounded cement sculptures, overgrown with moss in the exhibition. These offer a counterpoint to the delicacy and motion of the leaves. Attesting to duration and resilience, the sculptures’ contours have been eroded by time and the plant matter of the earth.
The drawings themselves transform the torn, shriveled reality of the leaves. Each is a square format abstraction. Some drawings crowd the paper, while others are quite spare. There are wavering marks, layers of atmospheric color, and the trailing of pastel fingerprints. My drawings begin with an impulse - just a line to touch or to record. There are also lines in my journals. When I read them, the ideas that recur are simple - just the leavings of a moment, a day.
I make lists-
fragile/ halting/ tenuous/ uncertain
 windblown/ torn/ spare/ crumpled/ frayed
Here are things that are uncertain and need to be held. I consider aging and the passing of time in my drawings. Fragile captures that edge of physical deterioration and balances it with regeneration and growth. And there is a bright core of toughness in the remnants.

Nancy Storrow
2020