STATEMENT BY AMY KOOL

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon Series
My recent  series is inspired by the  Hanging Gardens  of Babylon .  When spring finally arrives, forcing  winter’s unmissed retirement, my thoughts and imagination turn  to budding , flowering gardens,  leaf- filled  trees and prima vera (first green)  of fields, parks and lawns.  Is it any wonder , then, that I envision  one of the seven wonders of the world, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon  also known as the Hanging Gardens of Semiramis, as an inspiration for my  own persona l  tribute to spring, the universal metaphor for hope and promise of better times ahead – extremely relative to the times we are living in.

The Hanging Gardens,   near present-day Al  Hillah, Babil in  Iraq – were terraces of flowers, shrubs and trees built row upon row on the slopes of a mountain, irrigated  by water  lying  on the foot of the ascent – built by  Nebuchadnezzer  to pleasure his ailing wife around 600 BCE. Though not in existence today – some historians attribute the Garden’s absence to earth quakes, other s doubt if the Seventh Wonder was a work of  poetic imagination rather than engineering.   

My  paintings on velvet  are abstractions of trees, flowers, shrubs,using  sizes, lines, color  and shapes  based on the images of  the Hanging Gardens.   Not unlike maps,  the paintings are also  aerial views of what the gardens might have looked like  if you were viewing them from the sky  as your plane descends.

The  Mandala  Series
My 2007-2008 series of paintings are inspired from   Mandalas that artists  from around the world have created, past and present  – circular  structures, painted on canvas, a tribute to the ancient belief s that Mandalas could inspire spiritual awareness and could be used to heal physical  and psychological   ailments and depict cycles of  life.  Working on circular surfaces prompted me to see color and patterns in a totally different light – as there are no beginnings or endings to the paintings. They are combinations of  paint and  collage, which  I created on a on a rotating wheel  for the sake of symmetry.

The Red Lantern  Series
Inspired  by  a recent trip in a taxi across the Brooklyn Bridge one night in April  , The Red Lantern Series consists of  collages which  I created with  scraps of  antique Japanese Kimono fabrics,  found objects and assorted papers  on canvas.   My friend and I witnessed a film  shoot taking place beneath the Brooklyn  Bridge which was visually astonishing . and yet moving. There were  bright red lanterns strung  between  the buildings of an  entire street .  Illumined  , and bared by   cameras, this exotic scene was heightened  by gold confetti  tossed  from the roof tops, just as in a ticker – tape victory parade.  So unexpected and magical , the red lantern  exhibit made my friend and me feel  we had dreamt rather than  experienced the event.

An  artist working and living in  NYC, I  believe  it is important to explore different materials,  found objects., new techniques.  My  goal  is to create art  that is unusual,  inspires serenity of the soul  and promote spiritual awareness.    I embrace the concept of modernism fully  but at the same time  maintain  a sense of historical awareness, the richness  and science of color and pattern  in the belief  that  work can be important, profound  yet  still possess elements of beauty.  

 

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