“These new pieces are mixed media pieces (pasted paper, water color, acrylic, pastel) dealing with layers; layers of materials, of process, and of meaning. I choose to paint discarded and forgotten objects, objects that go unnoticed and are seemingly unattractive. This series of works depicts abstracted images that are reflective of the mechanical aspect of our culture, discarded industrial machinery that litter our landscape and uglify our views.
These industrial gadflies, for me, reflect beauty and power, and man’s intellectual prowess, but they are also reminders of how nothing lasts forever and how nature is ultimately the master. When they are no longer useful they become “overwhelming” to their owners who cannot offload them anywhere and they become a blight to the environment. The remnants of these industrial giants like backhoes and caterpillars, however long they last, are taken over by the vines and roots of trees and become habitats for nature’s creatures.
The more I work on the series, the more the pieces take on a spiritual connotation as I delve deeper in to the media and the possibilities of meaning. How can a rusty piece of machinery become a spiritual symbol? The presumption of imbuing objects with meaning comes down to my experiences, as I observe the world around me, and human behavior. We strive for immortality in the things we make and collect.”
Niarus Walker is an artist and arts educator living in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She has a BFA in Fashion Design and Painting from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, and an MS in Art Education from Florida State University. She was awarded the Robert Rauschenberg Power of Art Workshop Fellowship in 2003 and the F. Decastro Fellowship in 2004. She has also received The Alpha Delta Kappa Visual Arts Award (2004), the Mary Lou and Ernestine Kuhn Scholarship (2005), and the Sarah Peter Travel Fellowship to study batik in Indonesia (1992). Her work has appeared in The Caribbean Writer, Island Art and Soul, and St. Croix This Week.