Troubled by the state of the world and seeking change, Kristine Moran left her home in Brooklyn in 2017 to travel across the United States in a trailer with her husband and two children. It was a miraculous, almost utopian journey, one which resonates with the artist now more than ever, in such unsettled and immobile times as these. While traversing the country, Moran sketched voraciously the American landscapes and moments she and her family experienced. She looks back to these sketches for inspiration in new paintings, reviving the imagery in bright color, and heightening painterly considerations of perspective, texture, and form.
"When the pandemic shut down cities, then countries and then most of the world, my family and I took shelter at home and prepared to keep our physical distance from the rest of society…I began reading Alistair MacLeod's Island: The Collected Stories (2000), and found it spoke to my family's feeling of shared loneliness in profound ways. Many characters in Macleod's stories are tied down to an island by family values but find the need for self-discovery elsewhere. In some ways, this sense of being island bound feels appropriate as a metaphor for the self-determined bubbles we are now obligated to be faithful to, making fantasies about utopias or "intentional communities" as they're sometimes called, all the more appealing. I've titled many of my landscape paintings after such communities, and although I find them to be problematic in many ways, I like that they are thriving for something other than what presently exists and in opposition of the status quo." - Kristine Moran