Wailoa Center’s Fountain Gallery will present an installation painting, “Lockheed Electra” by April Matthews, from Friday through May 29, with a meet-the-artist reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday.
This event is free and open to the public.
Matthews is a painter working in Kailua-Kona. Originally from Kansas, she lived in five different states, including Alaska, before the age of 8.
She completed undergraduate degrees in psychology and painting at the University of Kansas. Before focusing on art, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar and worked as a research assistant for a study on child language impairment.
She finished her MFA at Michigan State University in 2012 and moved to the Big Island shortly after.
Her large, airy, abstract paintings are influenced by the various places she has lived and her background in cognitive psychology.
“My paintings are shrouds of memory,” Matthews said. “They are investigations of the complexity of the memory experience and how it can translate into installation painting. I am interested in the cognitive qualities of memory and how they manifest in our minds. My canvases retain pictorial qualities but are also physical presences. The medium is traditional elements, such as raw canvas, oil paints and other pigments, but the paintings exist off the stretcher frame, away from the wall and occupy 3-D space.
“The purpose of this is to manipulate imagery while also providing a more physical audience experience through texture, spatial awareness and the potential for interaction. I’ve always had a preoccupation with memory. What interests me is the actual process of remembering, the sensory experiences of memory, including what triggers it, sight, smell, etc, and the visual representations we get from our memories. My work attempts to convey the disjointed, dissociative experience of remembering. Our mental images change radically over time; spaces shift and blur, colors merge and sequences of events are not quite what they were.”
The Lockheed Electra is the type of plane Amelia Earhart flew during her attempted flight around the world.
The mystery of her fate continues to intrigue decades after her disappearance.
This piece is a visual reflection of the various theories and speculations about her final flight.
It is a jumble of theoretical memories made physical by another woman from Kansas, who is also lost in the Pacific.