Rhonda Smith

“I am motivated by the idea that beneath, beyond, behind every simple surface is a structure and system operating on a different scale and by complex rules; that is, I am enthralled by the idea of these parallel seen and unseen dynamic worlds. I am excited in what scientists see of systems that have a rapid and astounding number of transactions in an extremely short (to our minds) amount of time; for example, the water molecule’s hydrogen bonding. Yet there is the converse time sense of the very slow drift of large land masses not apparent to the naked eye. What astounds me is that some dynamic structures function with an incredible stability by the fact of a “fickle” and “harrowing” instability; and that systems can face small or grand interruptions and by pattern or intelligence recover their nature….or not. I place my work here where the visual process might experience upset and recovery in the course of seeking that vast array of relationships, fragile, precise, teeming. The intellect meets the intuited and felt, acknowledging the pull of what is not known. The Tibetan Buddhist concept resonates: that each phenomenon, physical or spiritual has four levels….the outer, the inner, the secret, and the ultimately secret.”

“As I am working I am often thinking of water, webs, tectonic plates, even my recent subway ride: that is, any phenomena that I can map or follow. As the hand begins I try to allow the marks to find their own way. It is important to respect the various marks; some have a strong persona, maybe an iconic past or maybe a striking uniqueness signaling a central element of the image (system) to be. A complexity begins to take form that reflects the mercurial shape shifting of natural substances and daily life. In regards to process it is very important that as an image begins to “settle in” I introduce problematic elements, a new layer of life and disruption, and this many times before the work is done. To not attach myself is to stretch, as if beyond the length of one’s arm, so to speak, and this impossibility offers the potential of creating.”