In Conversation With Lyndi Sales

Ashraf Jamal interviews Lyndi Sales

1) Ashraf Jamal: Your work has always possessed a sensuous textural quality. What is it in you that makes this quality emerge in your work?

Lyndi Sales: I majored in Printmaking at University but was constantly frustrated by the flat two dimensionality of the print. That’s when I began to cut up my prints and stagger them in layers to create paper theaters. This desire to construct in layers or to create something that is textural is evident in most of my work. I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s a desire to see between the artwork or through the artwork. Currently I’m interested in how the perspective changes as you move around an artwork opposed to looking at something that is two-dimensional and appears to be static.

2) AJ: Your work is known for being personal, but rumor has it that you are shifting from the autobiographical interface, and, perhaps reaching more outwards? Have you found the other of yourself?

LS: My current work was actually inspired by an astigmatic eye condition, which is described as “ghosting”. My starting point was a digital graphic I was able to get from my ophthalmologist after he took a 180-degree image of my cornea. My desire to interrogate notions of vision and perception began with the personal but lead to a looking outward particularly into the universe. This project is ongoing and feels like a natural progression from older works, which focused on the physical and the spiritual realm and how the two are separated and connected. A recent work “Vesica Piscis” is a reflection on the first cell division of the embryo. I have been pregnant 3 times in the past three years so although it may not be obvious my work is still primarily rooted in the personal.

3) AJ: I know this sounds very hey-shoo-wow, but I’m trying to understand how the private and intimate relates to that sense of estrangement, of release and openness which I also see at work.

LS: I assume by estrangement you are referring to the missing pieces or empty negative space that is evident in most of my work. I am always aware of the viewer constructing his or her own narrative in my work and with the laser cutting so much information be it text or painted area is cut away. In the process the work becomes something completely different and often unreadable. Its often quite random and I never know what will be left behind and what will remain as throw away residue. For me it’s an important act of surrendering control and in this process the openness is releasing.

4) AJ: Abstraction, perhaps, plays a greater role in your art than the figural or empirical – is this the case?

LS: Yes I have a renewed appreciation for abstraction. In a previous body of work where my concern with the transition from physical body to spiritual realm was the focus, abstraction seemed like the appropriate form to take. In recent work where I attempt to portray the “unknown”, abstract form was the logical choice once again. Looking out into the universe and trying to comprehend what is known as “Dark matter” that comprises 84% of the universe but which remains unseen, the abstract seemed appropriate. Looking deep within the microscopic cellular body or out into the galaxy at the platonic solids or atoms of the universe, these structures that make up everything reveal themselves as abstract forms in my work.

5) AJ: If you were to find a sound equivalent for what you do visually, what would it be?

LS: I love the sounds that are recorded from radio telescopes. They range from the high pitch, to the pulsar sounds, to the beeping and often synthetic sounds. Interesting in that as you listen to them you are constantly trying to make sense of this code. The pinging and beeps of what may be gravitational waves of space ringing. I would imagine black holes to sound like a slow drumming that speeds up to crescendo of fireworks that ends with a hum.
Actually by converting gamma rays into musical score NASA scientists have created what they think the universe sounds like. I like this idea but the end result is not abstract enough for my work.