Artists seek and find inspiration in varying ways. From stumbling upon it in daily life to in depth analysis of subjects that arose the artist’s curiosity, the practice of research and discovery is an essential process to many artists when developing concepts communicated in the work.
John Folsom’s method of informing his work combines spontaneous discovery with historical research. His current exhibition at Tinney Contemporary entitled “Andoyne Frontiers” consists of work that is aesthetically informed by the landscape of the historically preserved Shaker Village near Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. The ideas behind the work touch upon Folsom’s research of 20th century Shakers and how their culture reflects the simplicity of the environment they lived in.
The name of the show is a product of John’s creative process that involves critical inquiry, intuition, and making connections. Although Anodyne is used today to describe something that does not provoke contention or dispute, it was once a term used to describe analgesic medicines.
Is it not fascinating how an artist associates different ideas and images in his or her mind? How he or she may integrate dissimilar parts of their world of thought to produce something that is uniquely theirs? The artistic process, a process that is intended to help both artist and viewer further their understanding of the world, is wildly interesting and complex. John Folsom’s current exhibition at Tinney Contemporary certainly prompts anyone viewing the work to wonder how and why the artist made the decisions he did.