Raven Tooth Gallery

the artwork of chase sayer stevens

Bones of Childhood

      Since moving to New Bedford almost a year ago my work has become mostly about places. I have been thinking about how places effect me, and how I perceive the communities I live in and visit. New Bedford’s identity seems deeply rooted in its industrial past. The city holds on to the ghost of its history as a whaling town while drifting ever toward its new identity as a center of culture and arts,. In this same way I am holding on to my past as I drift in to the future. I deeply miss my life in upstate New York. Not only the place but, my established context with in it. There was a maturity, confidence and fullness to my time in the Hudson valley that I feel the absence of now. This change is brought into sharp contrast by graduate school, which is in some ways both a step towards adolescence and toward the development of my professional career as an art teacher.

      In Know Your Ghost, the Safety of a Skeleton and Certainty (or something like it)  I describe the difference in relationship between my life in the Hudson Valley and the time I spent in New Bedford, Massachusetts for graduate school. These pieces voice my uncertainty in the choices I had made, the path I was on, and the unpredictable nature of the future.

      In the series Familiar Forms I deconstruct both the media and the concepts introduced inmy larger paintings. By experimenting with my process and rearranging my own symbols I can express new ideas and explore how I feel about the changes I am going through. The collages become a rhetorical conversation, helping me to understand both what I am feeling and why I am feeling it. It is through this process of deconstruction, examination and recombination that I seek to come to peace with my shift in environments.