An Interview Kayla Cloonan

Hanging The Remnants 2012 36x25
Hanging The Remnants 2012 36×25

What made you become an artist?
I didn’t have much of a choice in becoming an artist. Ever since I was a child I had a drive to create. The truth is that I can’t help but make art. I am obsessed with communication through visual and tactile means; it fuels me.
Is mark making an important part of your work?
Mark making is a central asset of my work. Every piece is a new experiment in mark making challenging myself to let go of control and allow human error and happenstance to develop preliminary marks.
What inspires you?
I guess I could say what inspires me the most in life is imperfection. I am captivated by deteriorating buildings, old frayed advertising posters and objects misplaced on the street. Everything is layers of miscellaneous shapes and colors, concealing and revealing.

Those Closed Shapes Sketchbook page 39
Those Closed Shapes Sketchbook page 39

What art movement best defines you as an artist?
Visually and viscerally my work fits into the modern abstract expressionist movement. However, I might equate my thought process to the ideas of dadaism. The assembly of sensory information is akin to dada poetry; non-sensical and jumbled. Because I work intuitively, I often analyse after the fact repeating certain forms and colours and connect them with everyday experiences. There is looseness in allowing chance to effect creative process, and I gladly use those almost manic experiences to create an avenue of new marks and visual directions.
How does you work push the boundaries of art?
In my work, I enjoy blurring the lines between painting, fibers and sculpture. I work with canvas and wood as physical surfaces as well as illusionary spaces. My goal is to create a sense of gravity and mass, regardless of paint thickness. Through layers I develop a play on atmospheric perspective and actual spacial perspective.
What artists influence your work?
Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Lauren Luloff, Ann Hamilton…just to name a few.
How important is the art process in your work?
My work is all about the process, experimentation, stages of layers, etc. I have even participated in live action painting, allowing the process and story to play an important role in the experience of a work.

Scrape 2013 12x10 Acrylic on panel
Scrape 2013 12×10 Acrylic on panel

Does a lot of thought go into your work?
In the beginning of a work, the process is raw and physical, then after much observation, I develop a piece farther, visually. As I work I form a dialogue with the piece and begin to analyze consistencies and repetitions. My work is psychological, and though I may not understand what my inner muse is telling me at the moment, with a series of finished work in front of me I am able to understand certain obsessions with a particular motion, or shape, or color.
Do you have clear intentions, a perceived idea of how you want your end result to be?
There really isn’t a beginning to any of my works, not in the logical sense of planning. I never do any preliminary sketches or compositional planning. I draw all the time, but never as a mock-up that gives insight into the final work. My drawings as much as my paintings, are experiments with line, texture, materials and surface quality. I let the piece speak to me and make any alterations necessary, no matter how drastic. Sometimes I work on a painting over a period of a year or more, involving enough stages of development that there is next to no trace of preliminary marks. In the case of my installation and performance work, I use knowledge of previous experimentation to develop a loosely organized plan based on the space and/or time frame provided.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions?
Immediate Surroundings
Gutstein Gallery, 201 E. Broughton St. Savannah, Georgia
June 16-Aug. 24
Where can people find you on the internet?
artist website:
portfolio website:
facebook artist page:

The Windows Always Foggy 2013 40x30
The Windows Always Foggy 2013 40×30

Author: Helen Ingram

Self Published author, artist, interviewer and owner of New Art United

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