The development of my work echoes creation. Starting with a blank white sheet of paper representing the void, I began carving out light with continuous circular intersecting lines of ink flowing from an ordinary ballpoint pen. Stars formed, and within the stars, an infinite number of smaller stars were created as the ink flowed down into the fibrous structure of the paper. Like in the night sky, millions of stars are visible at any level of magnification. As the stars multiplied, they took form and developed into cosmic universes and exploded into fantastic bursts of light. Elements of nature and earthly images followed beginning with trees and water, then people, then interactive conceptual pieces with themes of human touch, consciousness, memory and change, then man-made structures and machines… pointing toward future projects that will combine multiple elements to create new and varied representations and interpretations of my experience of life …all created with stars carved out of a white paper void with continuous circular intersecting lines of ink from an ordinary ballpoint pen.
Beyond a simple play of light and dark creating recognizable forms, the work reveals the beauty of our existence. As Carl Sagan said, “We are made of starstuff.”
By presenting a “strong graphic sensibility that maintains an ethereal quality,” (Oscar Laluyan of Arte Fuse) Colleen’s art shares her experience of the universe. She builds up masses of ballpoint pen circles to create patterns of obfuscating shadows and defining lights that confuse and clarify the subject. She chooses this time-consuming yet meditative process as a way to give life to every detail.
Colleen explores different themes in her various series, demonstrating progression from technical mastery of luminosity to its conceptual application:
For the Universe – pinpoints of light carved out of darkness.
The Nature of Ballpoint – landscapes and cityscapes integrated with celestial lights.
Uncle William – the universal sense of belonging regardless of perceived abnormality such as Down’s Syndrome.
Fading Memories; Emerging Spirit – the intangible, episodic nature of memory and the freedom that results from memory loss in Alzheimer’s Disease.
Shifting Perception – assimilation of images from memory (viewers touch translucent overlay to complete the drawing underneath).
Colleen Blackard is originally from Austin, TX, and currently lives and works in NYC. She received a BA from Hampshire College, MA. Her first solo exhibition “For The Universe” opened in 2009 at Hampshire College Gallery, and since then her drawings have been in exhibitions in such cities as Tokyo, London, Moscow, and New York, in the Fountain Art Fair, Rush Arts Gallery, Family Business Gallery, Times Square, and more. Her work is in Pierogi Gallery’s Flat Files, and she is represented by ISSO Gallery in Japan.