Morgan Tomfohr grew up in the misty redwoods of Arcata, California. The beautiful landscapes of forest and ocean nurtured her love for capturing the world around her. Fascinated by individual psychology, she desires to understand others through observation and creation. Utilizing the body as the source for experience, she draws and paints figures who express their psychology through abstract forms. Most recently, she is interested in investigating the basis of (sub)conscious experience through topics of body, mind, and soul. Her media of choice include oil painting, ink drawing, intaglio etching, bookmaking, and creating video game worlds.
My work seeks to observe and extract the psychology of the individual self and its relationship to the collective whole. In my recent painting and drawing practice, I create dreamlike subconscious environments into which I can nest and explore. I channel external and internal experiences through painting multiple complex layers and drawing intricate imagined worlds.
“Embed, Coagulate” was a venture into new territory for me as a painter. I wished to create a painting that consisted of many layers as opposed to the single layer impasto that I’m comfortable with. It was daunting at first, but allowing myself to let go and move through subjects and layers was incredibly rewarding. In a way, it was almost like processing the world around and inside of me, in an external, fluid way.
The drawing I worked on for this show started with a pencil outline of my own body onto a huge sheet of paper. My goal was to create a highly detailed "imagined anatomy," a trippy psychological map of my self's interior (and exterior). To fill in the body outline, I wanted to draw in a completely stream of consciousness manner--an unplanned, straight from subconscious creative technique. I became completely immersed in this tiny, huge world. Depicting winding pathways, teeny stairs, and stepstone platforms woven into delicately intricate line forms became absolutely mesmerising. Each square inch took from 20 minutes to an hour depending on the level of detail. It truly turned into a meditative experience; a slow, quiet mapmaking of the interior body.
The 2020 Irwin Scholars are
Aarón Martínez, Anastasia Oleson, Angel Gonzales, Chloe Murr, Dominic Ramirez, Edgar Cruz, Emma McWaid, Jocelyn Lee, Joshua Zupan, Morgan Tomfohr, Natalie Del Castillo, Rodrigo Ramos, Veriche Blackwell