Kristen Sanders

Region: MFA Annual


City / State: Richmond, VA

Imagine, 1,600,000 years ago, a prehistoric character points. There, in the moistened soil, the hominid Homo habilis draws a line, inscribing the first mark. The core of my work meditates on this scene as the unknowable origin of image making. Combining scientific research with speculative development, my paintings investigate and challenge a concept of origin within human evolutionary history. I pull from a range of digital media to contrast prehistoric imagery with technologized colors, posing my hominid characters in flattened, stylized scenes. These scenes lead to further questions that are beyond the origins of image making, such as the idea of a hominid woman as the inventor of stone tools, and the intersections of leisure, desire, and historical images of the feminine. I think of my work like an archaeological dig, an ongoing exploration of possible unforeseen connections to the first mark made by Homo habilis.