Bio: ​​Carley Schmidt is a multi-disciplinary artist motivated by her relationship to landscape. She currently lives on ancestral Ho-Chunk land in Madison, Wisconsin, where she is an MFA Candidate in printmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Carley has shown in the U.S. and internationally, including appearances in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Bulgaria. She attended the Glasgow School of Art in 2015 and was the Artist-in-Residence at Ne’Na Contemporary Art Space in Chiang Mai, Thailand upon graduation from Gonzaga University in 2017.
Artist Statement: My practice is motivated by my family’s narrative in relationship to land. I investigate this connection through transgenerational memories about landscape and place, which manifests through collage and installation.
I find inspiration in the memories I carry of my home – of the colors and textures that resonate, and the histories that live in the environments I occupy. I place these everchanging observations in conversation with specific sites, dates and events, to investigate my geographic lineage. In combining these gathered moments, I challenge the binaries of time, location and memory.
Creation, destruction and reimagination is a constant cycle that persists within my practice. In collage, I cut, tear and reassemble prints, photographs and handmade paper to develop imagery from individual components. In papermaking, I break down plants to produce pulp, which results in a renewed material. In sculpture, I deconstruct and rebuild, to shift the scale of an object or environment. This process of decomposing and reconceptualizing results in memoryscapes that alter the observer’s perspective, and in turn, their relationship to each piece.
The contents of my work are a response to natural and human-made patterns that have formed my personal narrative: geographical features, architectural structure, colonial boundaries, and empty space. These conditions manifest through color, form, and material. They appear in my work alongside my grandmother’s recollections of our family history, and the imagined scenes that populate my reality. I merge these perspectives to create a collaborative environment that challenges my understanding of place.