CHIPBOARD PAINTINGS: Irina Teske

Exploring the relationship between image and material serves as the foundation of my artistic practice.  The dichotomy between the natural and the man-made is acknowledged by a close engagement with the chipboard, unearthing the imagery inherent in the material.  The repetitive patterns found in nature echo the repetition found in industry, in the mass production of building products.  Though the starting point is often a memory the real world, as the work progresses, the material, and the position of the chips or even the lumberyard stamp influence the development of the image.  Chipboard’s rough, unfinished surface works against our preconceived notions of the softness and beauty found in nature’s ideal.  The material has its own repetitive patterns that can be manipulated (by painting individual chips and background) to reflect and correspond to the patterns found in the natural world. 

My work concerns itself with the creation of a meditative space, a halted place in time.  Painting, with its fluidity of line and endless tonal qualities is the medium that best lends itself to this end.  Chipboard arrests this mutability and forces sharp, coarse edges not only on the beauty of the image but also on the gestural quality of the paint.  I am intrigued by how these two elements work with each other and against each other, adding layers of meaning to my paintings.  It is this contradiction that results in the creation of a new space, the space between the background and the surface, a place of contemplation.