In these works, artist Valerie R. Dillon, “meanders” between traditional and experimental modes of printmaking by deconstructing familiar domestic materials in the creation of vibrant groupings of variable collagraphs that focus on the intuitive process and the transformation of space.
The creation of the work is intuitive, with no strictly planned composition. By relinquishing control, the making relies on being actively present in the studio to organically guide the process. While discovering the direction of the work in a space that embraces uncertainty, the hidden beauty is revealed as something unexpected and magical, and this is reflected in the vibrancy of the print color choices and how the pieces transform the space as a collection.
The collagraph plate construction is inspired by “Arte’ Povera”, combining everyday items and activities with traditional printmaking processes. The design of the multi-layered prints is stylistically and conceptually influenced by the metaphysical works of Hilma af Klint and Irene Rice Pereira and the layering of shapes and color is informed by the works of Sophie Taeuber Arp, Sonia Delaunay, Anni Albers, and The Interaction of Color by Josef Albers.
“The patterns found in these collagraphs reflect my attraction to the geometry and color found in, astronomical charts and maps, embroidery instructional books, board games, puzzles, and granny square blankets. These sources metaphorically represent the physical, rational, emotional, and spiritual navigation devices needed to take steps into the unknown.” - Valerie R. Dillon
Valerie R. Dillon is a teaching artist from Denver, CO who currently resides in Hershey, PA. She has a BFA in art education and printmaking from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in Colorado and an MFA in Studio Art from the Penn State School of Visual Arts.
Her artwork has been shown both regionally and nationally, including exhibitions at Washington Printmakers Gallery in DC, Manhattan Graphics Center in NY, and Lawrence Art Center in KS.
Dillon started exploring the collagraph printing techniques found in the” Meanderings” series, during a 3-month artist residency at Rubber City Prints in Akron, Ohio in 2018. The full exhibit of these prints was most recently on view in the Susquehanna Art Museum’s Desoto Family Vault during the summer of 2021.