Tara Shukla: Bone Drawings

March 6, 2017


Grinnell artist, Tara Shukla, intricately detailed drawings evoke other worlds and places.

Exhibit Dates:  March 22 – April 13, 2017

Artist Talk and Reception:  March 23 at 5:00 p.m.

Artist Statement:

“Then, as I stumbled headlong down the path, there was suddenly a form …”- Peter Handke, The Long Way Around

When I draw, I begin by observing.  The closer I look, though, the less clear things seem.  Drawing becomes a dialogue between form and process, representation and abstraction, imagined and real.

My recent drawings of bones were inspired by traditions of trompe l’oeil painting, natural history and scientific illustration.  Like those forms of imagery, bones are a kind of permanent record – they last beyond death – and symbolize underlying truth.   My drawings are based upon specimens I borrowed from Grinnell College’s Biology Department that I then sketched and photographed before creating a larger, composite image.  When drawing, I am absorbed by the task of paying attention and accurately rendering forms and surfaces.

Despite my care, the forms continue to elude me – they are all fragments, partial and mysterious.  Sometimes they resemble other things.  They evolve as objectivity gives way to the process of drawing.  The drawings embody both the desire to understand, to capture truth, through slow, careful analysis and an awareness of the ultimate impossibility of this attempt.

Tara Shukla, March 2017.

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