Nina and R. Michael Wommack are a husband and wife team. Our studios are located in Buck County, PA, where we have lived and worked for 25 years. Nina is taking a hiatus from shows while she is in Graduate school, and continues to work in her studio. Michael has been working on a series of drawings for the past 4 years and is touring with these drawings. See artist statement below
Michael is both a painter and printmaker who has collaborated on numerous projects with architects and artists in the Philadelphia area, including Venturi Scott Brown & Associates and the Fabric Workshop and Museum. Projects range from an 80 foot shark for the NJ State Aquarium to Venturi designed air brushed chairs for Knoll International.
Nina is a ceramic artist making tile, wall pockets and mosaics influenced by her botanical background. The studios are surrounded by gardens, a constant the source of inspiration.
"I see the shapes I remember from maps" Pastel on paper 8" x 27"
Michael's Artist Statement - I have been working on this new series of drawings for the past 4 years. A number of years ago, I had a few dreams on different nights about being back in my childhood neighborhood in Levittown, PA. In one of the dreams, I was swimming in lit pools at night, that were interconnected, the sole source of light coming from the pools. This was a strange dream on several levels; I am not a particularly good swimmer, only one person in my neighborhood had a pool, and, no, I had not read John Cheever’s short story “The swimmer”, nor have I seen the movie adaptation starring Burt Lancaster. (I am looking for it on DVD. It is not available yet) When we moved to Juniper Hill in the early 60’s when I was six years old, the houses were newly built. As far as the eye could see there was the same house, in one of three alternating colors, in a gently curving and undulating artificial landscape. The trees were mere sticks, and no one had put up fences. Surrounded by plowed fields, on which Levittown was built, the visual impact was compounded when approaching this community of 14,000 homes in a car. As a first grader having previously lived in a country house, this experience was profound.
Inspired by these dreams, I immediately began putting them to paper. I pulled out my soft pastels, having not used them for years, and began drawing from memory. The colors in my dreams were incredibly vivid, and it turned out pastel was a perfect medium due to the pure pigment used in making them. I became interested in the idea of the subconscious and where working from memory would take me. It may be that our early impressions are made more vivid by the simple fact we have had fewer of them. At the age of six our brains are uncrowded, the things we see and experience make a deeper impression on our minds. I am also interested in the fact that most Americans have lived in a place like this at one time or another, and social ramifications of living in such a manner.
I don’t care to deconstruct any of the dreams, but I am interested in tapping the imagery. I am not concerned with historical accuracy, but in the emotions caused by living in such a place at an early age. I am not interested in making a specific social statement. I like to keep aspects of the drawings ambiguous, to allow the viewer their own interpretation of what it means to live in American Suburbia.
"Flamehill Road" Pastel on paper 8" x 27"
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See the calendar for our Spring 2010 shows.
New Work Drawings and mosaics
"Confluence" Pastel on paper 25" X 34"
"Indeterminate time of day" Pastel on paper 18" X 28.75"