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at Cris Worley Fine Arts
by Todd Camplin
A forest has grown up on the walls of Cris Worley Fine Arts with the works by Massey Craddock. Framed
works on paper depicting trees populate the gallery, but this is much more that just a show depicting
|To me, Maysey Craddock’s work is partly about recycling in a meaningful way. Craddock reuses
found material and makes that material last though pulling out the acid. This detour away from
the landfill and into art still reflects ideas of the usual fate of her material. Her paper might have
mulched trees or ended up floating down rivers into lakes and oceans. Now her recycled material
is acting as representational art. What I find interesting in this body of work is that she has removed
images of decayed buildings being reclaimed by nature. Many images of her past work played
with this idea of returning things to the earth in a more literal approach. Now she uses the material
to illustrate her ideas more metaphorically. Maybe it is because I am aware of her past work, but I
see Craddock working with a similar theme of recycling, renewal, and the life affirming natural
|Some of her forest scenes show a reflection in the water, but by displaying the work on its side, I
was reminded of computer generated reflection tools. The forest and reflection become a
symmetrical silhouette object. It took me a moment to put together that she was showing a
landscape displayed on its side. Other images use the paper as a source for her tree silhouettes
with bushes and tree limbs painted in the background. I enjoy how she sometime fades her paint
to a lighter shade across her composition or just in her trees. The detail of lines are quite attractive
and keep my eyes wandering around her pieces. Each work seems to be too delicate and
elegant to be on such throw away material.
|Another powerful aspect of her work is the sewing of papers together to create her “canvas.” The
materials she collects have to be connected together in some way to make her work have some
scale. It would seem that sewing would be a good solution practically, but the stitches also work
visually. One could even see this similar to movie portrayals of Dr. Frankenstein's monster.
Craddock is sewing together an already devastated landscape caused by climate change
and land mismanagement. But like Dr. Frankenstein, she breathes life into her work.