Monica-Lisa Mills

Monica-Lisa Mills makes work that explores the contours and textures of the natural world. There is a playful element too, she invites the viewer to touch and even re-arrange some of these pieces. Mill's discusses her work below. 

#1 (Roll Landscape) 

I use tape as a form of printing, with dirt and dust from various surfaces as the ink. The constraints and the open ended length allow me to stop thinking about where things are going and to sink into the repetition. The landscape that emerges is shaped by the materials and my state of mind at the moment and feels endless, like a horizon line or a path. When someone tears off a section to take with them, I just keep going from that place. This piece has been in progress for five years and I hope to continue it until the roll is gone.

 

#2 (Card Landscape) 

I use tape as a form of drawing here, tearing each piece in a way that doesn't allow me to control how the forms take shape. The shapes feel like landscapes but also evoke biological forms and pods. The cards are from a church where I worked a long time ago, right after I graduated from Divinity School. Each time someone takes a section, I keep the last card and continue from there. This way, the horizon lines remain contiguous, even if they are never actually physically next to each other again.

 

#3 (Wax Landscape) 

I spent several summers living in the Burren - a region in the west of Ireland filled with limestone hills, layered like giant mudpies. I drew the landscape over and over. This one is part of a series that is etched into beeswax with linseed oil and graphite. 

 

#4 (Line Painting) 

This is part of a series of drawn, painted and sewn pieces that came into being as a form of meditation. I work as a hospital chaplain and often draw and sew as a way of passing the time and staying present while sitting vigil at bedsides. This painting - using gouache and ink on board -  evolved from drawings I did while working at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. 

 

#5 (Rearrangeable Squares Painting) 

Many of my paintings are ongoing and have no defined edge. This freeform abstract ink painting can be rearranged into any configuration, or hung independently - part of my mission to make art less precious and more interactive. 

 

#6 (Framed landscape drawing 1) Part of a series of ink and gouache paintings of the Burren landscape  - an area of limestone hills in the West of Ireland - made outside in the rain. The layers of limestone echo drawings of mounds that I had made a decade before I had ever visited Ireland, so they felt familiar to me.

 

#7 (Framed landscape drawing 2) Sold.

 

#10 (Metal Sculpture) Part of a new series of sculptural works made using piano supplies my father used in his piano tuning and repair business. The forms evoke other motifs in my work - landscapes and repeating forms, and can be hung vertically or horizontally.

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