Mary Henderson
My work has always been inspired by my own personal and family experiences, as well as by broader historical and social phenomena. In drawing upon networking and community photo-sharing websites for source material, I have become fascinated by the ways that these forums allow for the co-mingling of the personal and the historical, documenting a moment when the distinction between public and private experience has become increasingly blurred.

Working from digital snapshots allows me to draw upon the visual and cultural associations of several very different media. The drawings and paintings consider the ways in which the accidental information captured by such images can take on an iconic quality, becoming in retrospect emblematic of a larger personal or cultural experience. As with all snapshots, the initial significance of the source images lies in who or what they capture, rather than in their artistic merits as photographs.

In translating an image from snapshot to painting, I can explore the ways that visual content is changed when it is moved from the medium of casual photography - a form associated with impermanence and reduced aesthetic demands - to the realm of figurative art, which bears the burden of aspirations to permanence and high aesthetics. By cropping, editing out or compositing information - and through the more tactile, physical manipulations of color and surface that allows - the emphasis of the image is shifted to pieces of information that may have been peripheral in the original picture. The result is a painting that has the appearance of a faithful rendering, but which often deviates substantially from its source.