the art of Bergland

Christy Bergland
artist statement

I paint and draw where I am.

Using traditional materials. I also construct and paint narrow depth boxes using plastic materials. I celebrate the physical and abstract qualities of the materials I work with as I create an illusion of objects in space. While focusing on landscape and everyday objects (windows; doorways; buildings; people and animals in their environments), my representational work is not about edges. The boundaries of my objects are never fixed, but move within the process of art making. My use of color is expressionistic and airy. The range from dark to light, particularly in the color blue, is as complex as I can make it.

Christy Bergland, "Great Pond in Winter," oil and charcoal on old wood | 14¾ x 36" | 2016

In art school I began to paint ‟what I see‟.

It was direct, immediate, and the beginning of an evolving relationship with my work and the world around me. Eventually, ‟what I see‟ developed into describing ‟how I see what I see‟. In terms of formal influences, both Abstract Expressionism with it gesture of the present, and Surrealism with its articulation of deep psychological space and the absurdity of object relationships have been vital.

Personal experience has also had a powerful impact on my art.

As a young child, I was hospitalized on an isolation ward with polio. Confined, alone, with no words to express myself, I was left with lasting images of windows and doorways; shadow and light reflections. My job as an art therapist in a psychiatric hospital has also significantly informed my work. There I help people express, verbalize the visual metaphor and ultimately metabolize basic, essential feeling states. The transformation of these raw emotions can become deep beauty.

As I continue to develop as an artist,

the meaning of space and time becomes ever clearer. The essence of my task is to describe transitional space - the rapproachment between potentially conflictual elements whether representational or abstract. It is a tension between chaos and order; my internal world and the world outside; between architectural elements and the natural world; between one moment changing into the next. It is a space joining physical reality and spiritual reality.
What I hope emanates from my work is a capacity to stimulate reflection of these transitions, and of the many feelings and thoughts that accompany them, in a way that is measured, moving and mysterious.