Monday, March 12, 2018

Karen Schoolman Artwork on Display at Kent Public Library

Karen Schoolman
As an abstract painter, student of botanical illustration, and a physician, I am interested in the relationship between art and science. There are many commonalities, particularly in terms of creativity. Intuition and risk taking are just as important as logic and careful observation. 

As physicians we are trained to view the body from a rational, scientific and biological perspective. This quite often involves disease, diagnosis and intervention. 

As an artist I have been intrigued by an approach to the body that relies purely on the visual and aesthetic. What if we could look at a bone, for instance, and not be influenced by associations of fear, vulnerability, and perhaps disgust? What if we could see bones as objects to be appreciated in terms of form, line and shape? How harmonious they are where they interlock. Here is a ripple of patterns, or a surprising series of shapes. What if we could peer right through the skin into the membranous cavities lying below? 

How mysterious and ambiguous. I took photographs with these ideas in mind and explored the terrain of the body from this visual perspective. It was very exciting to be able to blend my interests in this way. Freed from the restraints of an expected context, it was surprising how much of a human presence could exist within a matrix of pure abstraction.