seasons: weather
6' diameter, spinning   acrylic on panel, motorized, mounted      2004

seasons: shadow  Counterclockwise: winter, spring, summer
each panel 4'x6'      acrylic on panel     2004

seasons: shadow  Clockwise: winter, fall, summer

seasons: shadow  Top to bottom: fall, summer

seasons: shadow  Top to bottom: spring, summer

seasons: shadow  Top to bottom: winter, spring

seasons: shadow  Top to bottom: winter, fall

Annie Kammerer Butrus       bama

This work is a meditation on change in the contemporary Alabama landscape. In particular, I focus on the experience of farmers whose methods of farming and ways of inhabiting the land are in the process of disappearing. Shadow: Seasons is part of an ongoing painting project that documents agricultural landscape and encroaching development based on interviews and oral stories that I have collected from Alabama farmers.

Shadow: Seasons is an epic treatment of the Four Seasons, representing the continuity and interruptions of Nature's grand cycle in a serial format. Each plane treats a different season but is based on a shared underlying composition of branches and falling fruit. Each season flows - sometimes whirls - into the next, wrapping the gallery ceiling, walls and floors without a clear end or beginning: winter into spring, summer into fall. The viewer's relationship to space is shifted by an inverted sky and ground, which references a loss of connectedness to land and the resulting emotional impact. Some traditional characteristics of landscape painting, such as trees, are intentionally incorporated, while others, such as horizon lines, are deliberately excluded, obscuring the placement of the viewer and relating to Japanese Ukiyo-e "floating world" pictures.

In the tradition of the Impressionists, who were obsessed with chronological tracking of light, I start the paintings outside and trace and retrace shadows of trees, leaves, fruit, and branches on the panels as the sun moves overhead. In the studio, I apply resist, then glazing, then erase the resist to reveal a play between negative voids and solid painted forms underneath the glazes. I use color in contrasting, high-keyed tones to draw on the emotions of the viewer; the palette signifies a highly pitched universe where gravity is negligible and shadows are either fleeting or everlasting. Shadow: Seasons reflects the changing 21st century Alabama landscape.

Related studies and panels


© 2015 Annie Kammerer Butrus. All Rights Reserved.