CAMRYN CONNOLLY



Reflection, 2021. Monotype, hand colored. 18 × 16 in.
Unnatural, 2021, Monotype, hand colored. 10 × 24 in.

For as long as I can remember, the ocean has fascinated me. It is vast, it is beautiful, and it carries so many enticing secrets, inspiration bubbling right beneath the surface. My work is an effort to emphasize the beauty of this underappreciated world. My work focuses on series, sometimes relating to the material I use to create my prints or to an exploration of a specific subject matter. I am currently focusing on the exploration of fish in confinement, repeating the fish tank imagery and using goldfish as a nostalgic motif to draw the viewer into a familiar place. My process plays with the decision-making that comes into focus when using color, material, different paper, and the printing press. By combining new media with traditional printmaking, I am experimenting to see what kind of spaces I can develop in my works. Through memory and imagination, I create compositions exploring the basic forms of this natural space. My prints are primarily monoprints, which I first print through the press, and then paint with oils, building on the print surface using fluid marks and organic imagery to mimic the quality of this underwater world.

The imagery transports me back to my childhood. Drawn to the life happening within a fish tank, I would find myself pressed up against the glass, observing all that existed behind it. I always longed for more, intrigued by the idea of this natural world isolated, boxed up, and placed in our domestic spaces—therefore becoming unnatural. We imprison this beauty within boxes, trying to capture this natural phenomenon for our own personal pleasure, forgetting how fragile the creatures and their delicate ecosystem really are. Through recognizable imagery and nostalgia, I am working to capture surreal moments in these mini-worlds that are so quickly forgotten.