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Faith Pickslay: Untitled

Faith Pickslay, Untitled

Faith Pickslay
Woodblock print, 8.5 x 11 inches

Senior Faith Pickslay is a studio art and graphic design major from Rock Island, Ill.

Artist statement

I do not assign meaning to my work. I just make it, and the meaning comes to me later. My art is a Rorschach test. My professor once said that art has a way of digging things out of us that we do not realize are there. I could not agree more.

I worked not with a particular tone, feeling, or meaning, but pattern instead. I was inspired by lines that emerged in the natural world: branches, fields, veins, broken glass, and river systems, to name a few. Searching for these patterns and translating them into a variety of mediums freed my mind from the pressure of creating something profound or beautiful. The work just is. And yet, it is still rich with feeling. 

The only way these works were created was through my completely unique life experiences. All humans are amalgamations of experiences, and our artwork is an extension of that. The two experiences that became characteristics of my artwork are mess and repetition. This desire for order is common amongst many struggling with unwellness. From the death of a loved one to mental illness, repetition in routine can be one of the few comforts in these difficult times. We cannot control much, but we will not let up on the things we can control.

Faith Pickslay

The repetition in these works helped me immensely. The goal was clear: find a pattern and translate it visually. Rinse and repeat. Following in the footsteps of one of my greatest inspirations, Corita Kent, I sought to create quantitatively rather than qualitatively. Free finally from the shackles of perfectionism, the works flowed out. 

However, my work could not be complete if I was simply an art factory. The other equally important component, mess, comes from the humanness I embrace when I work. Rather than attempting to be seamless and clean, I lean into the fact that I am flawed, impatient, messy, easily frustrated, and so on. There are chunks accidentally carved out of my prints in my urgency. Mistakes such as this are my favorite parts. Every work has an element of luck that makes it unpredictable and more importantly unrepeatable.