Self portrait by Aimee Cass
Aimee Cass is an Australian born artist residing in Sydney, New South Wales. She grew up in a rural landscape at the base of the Blue Mountains. Spending her childhood amongst the rocky jagged sandstone body of the region concreted the significance of the forms of the natural world in Aimee's work and psyche. Her artistic evolution has been eclectic and sporadic in exploration. Aimee has painted and drawn since she was a child, written and perfomed poetry, explored intuitive dance and performance art, shot analog photoshoots, and built sculptural ceramics at the National Art School in Darlinghurst. Most recently she has ventured into the same realm of expression that her artistic father practised; digital artwork.
Aimee has always gravitated towards percieving her creative process as an ongoing exploration of her own internal landscape. Experiencing her mind as a terrain to be both traversed and tended has been a large influence on her work. Contextualising her creative expression as a translation of her inner environment, of what cannot be spoken to with conventional language and communication. Her work has yet to settle into one mode of translation, one creative medium. As her personality and sense of identity is shaped by her surroundings, her mode of expression continually shifts to more accurately align with her current sense of self. Each mode of work translates the same forms and spaces of her interior environment with a different language. Like observing an object from different angles, each medium illuminates another dimension of her same inner ecosystem. Her work seeks to comprehend the mechanics of how her internal landscape is shaped and eroded by her external environment and her sensory and social experience. It seeks to map and document that process as it informs her fluctuating identity in a turbulant world.
Digital expression exists in another dimension to physical artwork. It requires a relearning and reframing of what art can be. My digital process is highly exploratory. It involves extensive layering, exporting, and manipulating in various creative platforms, importing the artwork again to the painting application and working back on top. It is cyclical in nature and has the capacity to induce a flow state of consciousness as much as any physical art making can. The final result is one which is hard to recreate, many pieces having up to a hundred manipulations and reworking until completion. Great restraint and sensitivity is required when creating digital work, one must listen closely to the piece itself to hear when it is finished.
These works were created over a year and a half period while I have been living and travelling in Kenya. With no solid ground to call home, my creativity has found shelter inside a digital drawing tablet. Alongside experiencing an entirely new culture and landscape, I have been traversing a new creative terrain in the digital world. These works grapple with my distrust of a purely digital aesthetic. They attempt at times to recreate a textural physicality, demonstrating my yearning for groundedness, safety and my lack of stability and home. Childlike mark making explores grief and loss in a contained environment, as I witness a world that is often unsafe and violent. Created during a turmoil filled period of my life, the digital realm of expression has allowed me to develop a new kind of emotional flexibility and gaze in which to process and witness beauty and tragedy in a world so far from home.