Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Artist statements

Below are artist statements by Andrew "Andy" Cavacco ’13, Amira Pualwan ’13 and Christina Cannon ’13, who are featured in the article "Eat, sleep, art, music."

 

Andy Cavacco ’13
Arts in Ireland
June 2012

Ireland, particularly the Burren, is full of magnificent sights, sounds, moods, and atmospheres. I am drawn to the land and wanted to interpret the physical landscape itself through music. I love the people, culture, and music of Ireland, but wanted to represent the influence the setting had on me. I approached each song a little differently, which made for a mixture of styles that reflect a part of my varied musical tastes.

I tried to take in as much of the surroundings as I could when I was in Ireland, to appreciate all the beautiful details. While out walking, the sounds of the physical environment caught my attention. The range of pitches that the rocks of the Burren make when struck inspired me to create a piece that incorporated the percussive hits. I spent time collecting different percussive sounds, including water drips and clanging metal gates, and isolated and manipulated them to create the rhythmic collage that is my first piece.

With my second composition I took a more cinematic approach to represent the contemplative and enchanting atmosphere I associate with the rain in Ireland. I incorporated a background track of rain and wrote a slow, pensive tune in Dorian mode to create the mood and kept the parts simple

My third piece is a dreamy waltz, a less literal response to the environment that still stemmed from how I felt in Ireland.

Amira Pualwan ’13
The County, Ink and watercolor

Narrative is a trait that often winds up in my work.  Though my drawings depict individual scenes, they are all part of one seamless impression of my time spent in County Clare, Ireland.  Inspired by topographical lines on maps, I chose to repeat abstract concentric organic shapes throughout each piece to illustrate how these subjects are not only irrevocably connected to the land from which they sprung, but that they, in turn, shape this unique landscape.  Through color manipulation and placement these land lines can adopt their own personality that is unique to each drawing, while acting as a common thread.  Whether it is the ancient stone walls or a musician on the street, each facet, whether human, animal, plant, or mineral, has a role to play in the story Ireland is weaving.

The role I assigned myself was to artistically and visually narrate these elements into one continuous idea and I have immensely enjoyed this process.  My work in Ireland became increasingly illustrative, and the style of these drawings is unlike anything I have previously explored.  I view it as an experimental departure from my pre-Ireland identity as an artist.

Christina Cannon ’13
“A Ripple Rather Than A Splash.”

I immediately began taking pictures in and around the area of Ballyvaughan, Ireland hoping to find some artistic inspiration. As I reviewed those early images, I noticed I was subconsciously drawn to the various designs that make up the Burren landscape. From the surface texture of rocks draped in algae, to the patterns created in the sand of the beaches, I found these intricate details of the land a fascinating component of the area. In juxtaposition with the natural patterns of the Burren, I also came across numerous man-made structures with similar designs in stone walls and churches. It is these small details of the area that make up the whole we see; however, I feel that these individual designs are enough to stand alone as art.

Using the images I collected from various places around the Burren such as the Bird Hide, the Cliffs of Moher, and the Aran Islands I have compiled a collection of eight pieces inspired from various natural and man-made patterns. I used a pen and nib and watercolor to represent the textures I found. The more I painted, the more I noticed the correlation between the natural and the man-made. Whether or not the creators of the man-made designs were aware of it or not, they seem to have been influenced by the naturally occurring patterns. Therefore, I have paired each man-made pattern with one occurring in nature. Not only does this show the relationship between the two, but it also demonstrates the balance between them necessary in making the Burren what it is today.