Claudia Wilburn is a mixed-media artist currently living in Northeastern Georgia and teaching as an Associate Professor at Brenau University where she is the Department Chair for Art & Design and Program Director of Studio Art. She received her Masters of Fine Art from the University of South Carolina and her BFA from Clemson University. She grew up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina and has lived throughout the South. Her work draws on the connections, paths, family and community present in the Southeastern American experience. Her academic research has been presented internationally and her work has been exhibited all over the United States. In June 2016 she presented her art-based research on cemetery figures at the Death, Art and Anatomy Conference, hosted by Winchester University in Winchester, England.
I have always crossed the lines of artistic disciplines. Despite having pursued two degrees in drawing, I have never felt confined by that medium. This mindset allows me the freedom to include many different techniques in my work and most importantly, shows the artist’s hand. My work includes a variety of mixed media processes such as image transfers, digital printing, collage, and traditional printmaking processes.
For my current body of work, Navigate by Reckoning, I am drawing on a new element: oral histories. The first three pieces in this series are mixed-media pieces made using digital prints, found objects, acrylic paint, relief printing and encaustic transfers. These pieces tell the story of my grandparents and serve as a material translation of those histories. I purposefully use ephemeral source material to bring the transitory biography passed back and forth between family members into a fixed pictorial realm.
As this body of work progressed, I researched and found photographic portraits of my great-grandparents and I am in the process of developing nine woodcuts using these portraits as references. These pieces begin as blackline woodblock prints, which are then printed onto different types of paper, fabric or alternative materials. I have yet to edition these blocks and currently all prints are Artist Proofs. To emphasize or reintroduce the concept of storytelling and oral histories, I plan to display these pieces with an audio component. This adds another media to the already vast array of art disciplines already in use and allows the viewer to make auditory, as well as visual, connections with the work.