Artist Statement ~ Francesca 'Frahn' Koerner
I am primarily a painter but also use photography, drawing, mixed media and the occasional installation or video in my work. When working with a two-dimensional surface, I often incorporate an element of visual fluctuation or as I’ve heard it called recently: oscillation. Formal issues and composition are set up so that the positive and the negative space of the picture plane appear to move back and forth. The resulting spatial ambiguity is a personal metaphor for the spiritual and the material world co-existing. This is how I view the world.
"As a painter, Koerner uses the computer as a “virtual sketchbook,” a tool for fleshing out ideas. In developing a painting, Koerner may create as many as one hundred computer mockups in which she experiments with multiple possibilities for color, scale, and composition. She begins a painting by pouring paint onto a canvas or wood panel, photographs the initial layer, and scans the image onto a computer. Next, she integrates imagery from a variety of sources in her everyday environment into the mix and manipulates the visual data. She then photographs the painting again and repeats the process until satisfied with the results. A finished painting is then based on the computer data but never replicates it.
Koerner is as interested in the layering of meanings as she is of forms, and the amalgam of images in her paintings represents a personal lexicon of emotional, psychological, and spiritual symbolism. Memory and nostalgia, for example are reflected in decorative patterning that she copied from an architectural motif at a church that she visited in Budapest, while the recurring image of a horse refers to her experience of riding horses during childhood.”
- David Rubin; “Digital Louisiana” Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans catalogue (2002)
Growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana I spent many hours exploring the natural areas along the Mississippi Gulf coast. The visual and cultural environment of the region have had a strong influence on me. Vibrant colors from the semi tropical area and rhythmic patterns inspired by those in nature have been repetitive motifs in my work. I use imagery such as geometric patterning [referring to Sacred Geometry], Op Art, rituals, boats, horses, and the human figure. An early Catholic upbringing, spiritual symbolism, and Buddhist Philosophy have also inspired me. I employ both the camera and computer as fundamental creative tools.
"….Paintings of boats— Chinese junks that Koerner said symbolized becalmed seas and a lack of movement, and tiny open crafts symbolizing change. She also painted recurring images of a woman on horseback who, she said, represented movement through time and transformation."
-Elizabeth Cook-Romero; “Di s p l a c e d artists retaking their place” The New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2006)
I’m also a Mom with 3 grown sons. My Mother was born in Cardiff Wales and I grew up with a multi-cultural American/European perspective. From an early age I’ve been inspired by Mystical experiences and the power to heal. Making art has saved me. When I didn’t know what to do next, I made art.
My work has been a narrative for my life and it deals with resiliency. Even though my story is personal, I now realize it is very universal.