Bitter, Sweet and Slightly Dirty – Stasia Burrington

My responsibility as an artist is to create work that fills an emotional need, and to inspire curiosity and reflection. I need to make visually pleasing and accessible work that also has a little edge. My intent is to create something sober, pleasing, and melancholic – and to show that sadness is necessary and in concert with joy: I am after the bittersweet. I want people to connect to the work, have an emotional reaction to it - an appreciation for the sensuality of the subject matter. I want to remind the viewer of their own imperfections, their own mortality… their own beauty.

I feel a responsibility to continue the tradition of figurative drawing, as an exercise of self-awareness, criticism and appreciation for craftsmanship. I am drawing from the Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi which - to put it very simply - values imperfection, impermanence, and incompletion. I make an effort to use raw, degradable materials such as paper, charcoal and unfinished wood in my pieces to ensure that they are susceptible to the beauty that comes with age. I cherish the pencil, brush and ink because of their simplicity, versatility and sensuality. The limited palate is capable of a beautiful, rich array of grays: deep, understated, melancholy. The paper and cotton I choose to work on are both delicate and strong, textured and smooth, utilitarian and cheap. We come into contact with these things every day, and to value these materials is to work on an appreciation of the mundane - an appreciation of daily experience.

I reject the traditional figure-ground relationship, omit a horizon - even a ground line - and place my figures within a strictly 2-dimensional space. My girls are at once isolated in the center of their own universes - and interconnected to the smattering of floating, ephemeral objects by which they are surrounded. Loneliness is such a big deal to me. Everybody gets it. I am obsessed with skin -it’s this weird complex ugly beautiful bag which contains and separates ‘us’ from everything else. Body modification – specifically modifying the skin by inking or puncturing – is to redefine and rewrite our relationship with the world. I am interested in this artificial outline with which we separate ourselves from an imaginary exterior: this outline which separates person - from flower - from insect – from star – from me – and from you.

My drawings are visual poems.
Bitter, sweet and slightly dirty - love poems.

About Stasia Burrington:

Inspired by children’s book illustration, Japanese cartoons, art nouveau and contemporary figurative drawing, Stasia Burrington lives and works out of her home studio in Bellevue, WA. She attended Cornish College of the Arts and graduated from the University of Idaho with her BFA in 2010. She is the co author-illustrator of the Virgin Project graphic novel series and now works full time on her personal drawings.