Judy Southerland draws from her Southern upbringing and love of all sort of materials to create tactile wall-hangings that are part contemporary painting, part 20th-century assemblage. Many of Judy’s works also have their basis in text, with the artist choosing to either emphasize or bury the original words.
Judy’s recent series History Painting for a Small Town is built upon a phrase taken from one of the artist’s early artist statements. According to her notes on the series, Judy starts off each work by stenciling the phrase, which leads her into a space of rather contemplative, process-based art making. I like the idea of starting at the same place with each work but arriving somewhere completely different.
The works themselves have a strong sense of materiality – they seem to celebrate their own existence as physical objects. Judy cites Philip Guston as an inspiration, which helps in understanding the artist’s mode of working through feel rather than necessarily sight.