This past spring, Katherine Clarke Langlands spent time in Santo Domingo exploring and creating a new body of work titled “Making Planets.” She sent us an update of photos and stories of her time there.
“I created this body of work in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic between February 2014 and May 2014. This collection is interesting because I created this work upon arriving in a country where I did not speak the language. My world, although at times frustrating, was also simplified in a frequently chaotic city which to me became calming. I painted whatever I wanted to and I created pieces that I wanted to look at. As I was at first, alone often and my apartment was completely empty and white-walled, I saw this as an opportunity to paint from my unquestionable feeling, born from a mysterious rhythm that brought me to this city in the first place. I made a visual symphony; pieces that danced on my walls. I painted compositions that were naturally balanced and the colors lively. Influenced by the Dominican Republic, I chose to make my world bright, interesting and heighten my artistic communication with or without spoken language. Humanity comes to full brilliance through efforts to bridge the opposing banks of self and other. “If you light a lantern for another, it will also brighten your own way.”
(Below) Visual Quench // 30” x 20” // acrylic, house paint on canvas// Dominican Republic, 2014 // This is another painting that I made when I first arrived in Santo Domingo. It is the piece that eventually progressed into the collection that I’ve been working on here. It’s simplicity is refreshing and as I made it to hang in my, at the time, completely empty, white walled apartment, I created something that I wanted to look at. Gazing at this painting, I’m relaxed. My eyes circle the composition and the colors are just right.
(Below) Voyage // 30” x 20” // acrylic on canvas // Feb. 2014. // Sold. This was one of the first paintings I made upon my arrival to paint and learn Spanish in the Dominican Republic. This painting is interesting because if the figure is sinking or floating or other is unknown. The elongated neck or arm and the long hair represent beauty historically and currently in some cultures. The figure is leaning, perhaps in this painting, defeated, tired or morose yet the circular orange shape provides a sentiment of sol (sun), renewed and life nurturing energy and buoyancy that combats the slouch of the figure possibly making the slouch seem more as a self embrace. As I have looked at this painting for many weeks I still change my mind as to whether it is a ‘happy’ or ‘sad’ piece of work. The figure is reduced to shapes and maybe viewed as a shape and not a figure at all. Sinking or floating, both are fine.
(Below) Vermont Hair // 30″ x 20″ // acrylic, pen, house paint on canvas // Dominican Republic, 2014