Paula Wilson (American, born 1975)
woodcut, lithograph, collage on paper
19 1/2 x 25 1/2 in. (49.53 x 64.77 cm)
Archival Collection of Marion Boulton Stroud and Acadia Summer Arts Program, Mt. Desert Island, Maine. Gift from the Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud Foundation, 2018.10.423. © Courtesy of the Artist.
Paula Wilson often uses multiple techniques to reflect on cultural history and female identity. Her print and collage present a fantastical understanding of time and place, and women figure prominently. Wilson collapses history, combining prehistoric animals with a stylized amphora vessel, a classical form. Vessels are a recurrent symbol in Wilson’s work. They allow her to reference and draw inspiration from a variety of cultures while inserting her own perspective onto the form. In this depicted vessel, a woman with tightly coiled hair is flanked by two birds, as the silhouette of a woman seemingly gazes at the amphora. Mindful of the legacies of cultural histories, Wilson, in describing her work, states: “I think there is a very strong Western and masculine art historical narrative that we are taught in school…so a lot of my work is about an artwork coming to life and trying to understand itself and its own place in this history.”