Warming up the Audience by Elizabeth Matthews
Acrylic on Paper
Inspired by the winter pasture images of Thomas Waddell (1941), “Warming up the Audience” toys with flat landscape and no horizon line, mimicking Waddell’s monumental pasture paintings. Waddell used repetitive images of pasture animals challenged by weather in an unyielding Western landscape to examine the struggle of life and death.
“Warming up the Audience” replaces Waddell’s pasture animals with empty chairs in the flat, chill landscape. Symbolically, a painting with no horizon line represents an earthly experience, something happening now, in the present, not in the past and not in the future. Do these chairs appear warm and inviting in spite of the cold atmosphere? Empty chairs placed randomly in an open space tease with possibilities, where are the people? Will they soon arrive or have they already left? Why will they gather or why didn’t they come? Is there room for me?
This piece was juried in to an exhibit held at the Scera Theater in Orem in Nov. 2019.