Mollie Oblinger

Mollie OblingerMollie Oblinger’s (b. 1976) recent exhibitions include shows at the Sierra College in Rocklin, CA, the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, the South Bend Museum of Art in Indiana, and the Angela Meleca Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. She has had residences at Playa in Oregon, Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program in New Mexico, and in Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary in Michigan . Oblinger received an MFA from the University of California, Davis in 2005 and a BFA in 1998 from Syracuse University. She is currently an associate professor at Ripon College in Wisconsin.

Artist’s Statement

Examinations of subtle overlooked actions, whether teeming underfoot or concealed by modern society, are at the center of my work. In the creation of beguiling landscapes, I pluck imagery from my interest in animal tunnels, cellular anatomy and vulnerability. By continually exploring unique locations, each body of work reflects a new set of discoveries and speaks specifically to place. In exploring the activity occurring just below the surface of the visible, I am interested in exposing the ways in which we undermine our natural environment. This interest guides my decisions in both material selection and construction process. I work with humble, but often artificial materials. I employ what has been discarded as unusable, such as lumber from the free bin and paint mis-tints. By using both the artificial and the waste materials to reproduce the aspects of the natural world that we destroy for gain or as nuisance, my work emerges from the thoughtful combination of content and process.

My work has always been guided by my desire to learn more. In researching a new body of work, I cull material from diverse sources. All that I expose myself to filters its way into the work in one way or another. From palettes derived from New Mexico’s water maps to the castings of ant nests made by a Florida entomologist, I make no limitations on what may trigger an idea or question. My work is abstract, because it allows me to pull in these diverse sources and relate them back to the same theme. This abstraction starts in observation. It twists, simplifies, or manipulates the subject in some way. The result is something new, referencing the original source, but also changed by the process to reference more than just that source. Again, this idea for me is similar to the way that we have altered the environment.

My work has always been guided by my desire to learn more. In researching a new body of work, I cull material from diverse sources. All that I expose myself to filters its way into the work in one way or another. From palettes derived from New Mexico’s water maps to the castings of ant nests made by a Florida entomologist, I make no limitations on what may trigger an idea or question. My work is abstract, because it allows me to pull in these diverse sources and relate them back to the same theme. This abstraction starts in observation. It twists, simplifies, or manipulates the subject in some way. The result is something new, referencing the original source, but also changed by the process to reference more than just that source. Again, this idea for me is similar to the way that we have altered the environment.