TC Overson’s work explores the role cataclysm and renewal has played in planetary deep time. The artist uses expanded fields of drawing to examine a life-ridden planet’s journey through time and space. Instead of binaries, can destruction and creation be seen as a single evolutionary force? How does an artist interpret such a force?
Using Earth’s geologic and biologic evolution as a foundation, a visual story of the interconnectedness of matter—microscopic and macroscopic—is investigated across eons, placing the brief but impactful presence of the human in perspective amidst the unfolding epic. To reinforce this aim TC apposes the domestic with the numinous.
“Material diversity and exploration are vital to me. Finding solidification of a concept in material outcomes, semi-independent of my conscious control, allows me to feel, within body and mind, the interconnectedness I strive to express. I set self-imposed limits to limit the limitless, using breakfast ingredients such as eggs and tea; and art standards that could be said to be made of ‘natural’ raw materials: charcoal, plaster, graphite, gesso, mineral pigments. My processes reduce signs of the artist’s hand.”
Victor Hugo’s use of stains and nontraditional materials informs the work. Applying his techniques of directed chance and restrained sooty earth tones, Overson encourages, as Hugo often did, open-ended interpretations of the work.
The materiality, scope and inbuilt decay of Anselm Kiefer’s massive body of work also fuel her creative fires. “Kiefer’s work ethic and aesthetic multiformity encourage me to experiment; not just to use chance as a strategy, but to take artistic chances also.”
A large series of plaster fragments—ambiguously rocklike, cosmic or microbial—form a substantial part of TC’s practice, forming malleable installations expressing the scope of evolution across deep planetary time.
Eggshell, frottage and stains are stratified within ricepaper layers, suggesting the parallel imagery of micro/macro evolutionary interconnection. “I use a range of pouring techniques to interpret concepts of simultaneous coalescence and decay. In fabric, papier mâché and ceramic globes I play with textures indicative of chaos and creation.” Muslin hangings take concepts from the very solid materiality of plaster and allow the work to billow softly in translucent swathes.
“Art can offer, I believe, a form of time travel.”
The work, at a glimpse, is aesthetically satisfying, and with lingering contemplation, evokes a conceptual journey into beyond-human time and space.