John Westmark

Region: South


City / State: Gainesville, FL

I am interested in the metaphorical potential of unorthodox painting materials. The primary material of my current paintings is store-bought paper sewing patterns applied directly to the canvas.

The patterns are reinterpreted outside of their usual functional context as garment templates to represent figurative and metaphysical imagery. In this way I work to shape a narrative that references Southern folklore and myth. A garment is made through the assembly of parts cut from sewing patterns, and likewise the rich tradition of storytelling is a kind of fabric cut from the unique perspective of Southern heritage.

As I work I consider the following factors: the encoding of nostalgia, or a recollection from the viewer’s past, and the ability of a specific narrative to wear different hats. Are the links to our past in jeopardy of disappearing, or does modern life alter the relevance and moral lessons in the stories from our childhood?