AMANDA MARY TESS STAPLES
When I was a child I was already nostalgic. In adolescence I valued everything with astute sentiment because I knew things would no longer exist how they once did.
By creating art through performance, sculpture, installation and mixed media, I am able to stay present, though my work resembles abstract representations of intimate, personal memories and experiences. Consequently, my art retains an intense level of honest vulnerability, exposure, risk, and openness; and has even been remarked as being exhibitionist in nature. Yet although my art is always a personal narrative, it never tells the complete story.
By examining the ambiguity and origination of my experiences through symbolism in my materials and presentation, I strive to provoke the dynamic between audience and author by objectifying emotions and investigating the duality that develops through different interpretations. This introspection becomes a cathartic and ritualistic exercise, thematically interrelating material for memory transference and reinterpretation. By contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, the results are deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and analysis becomes multifaceted.
"My performances habitually push my body by the longevity of pieces, physicality and mental endurance, while my installations play on an exaggerated large-scale, the use of multiples/quantities, impermanence, and stimulation of the senses."
A collection of work last year also experimented with themes of identity (Confession of a Filipino- American), femininity (To Serve Man), maturation (Intermission), and transformation (Chrysalis).
My career background includes working as a case manager for adult male sex offenders, and Head Coordinator for a program servicing severely mentally ill homeless, which understandably demanded a lot of time and attention away from art. Since changing my career focus, I have completed two international artist residency programs in Berlin, have had my 35mm photography series “Parallel Assimilations” published in Almost Real Things magazine, and performed at the Fragmented Identities Festival in Venice, Italy during their biennale. And though I did not have an artistic upbringing, support, or formal instruction/traditional education in the medium, I’ve come to see these as atypical advantages having: fresh eyes, the capability and
capacity of being unconfined to principles of strict artistic systems, and the manic, vital crux to produce art and explore my creativity.