Carol Whitney (American): “Wichita’s Burning”
Acryl on canvas; approx. 120 cm x 200 cm (Emergence year is not known to me)
“Wichita’s Burning” is the title of this large-sized acryl picture of Carol Whitney (CarWhi). In this impressive size, it seems, together with the devoted, engaged way of painting of CarWhi, like homage of a wonderful of the wonderful countryside of the ‚Southern Plains’…
The Southern Plains extend over three federal states: Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. In Oklahoma, the Wichita Mountains are part of those plains. Their name reminds that this area had been the origin region of the “Wichita Indians”. Today, in this area of the Wichita Mountains the “Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge” is situated, that is a national park for wild animals living I liberty.
The bison established again are among others included of course.
As an artist, the following words reflect my experience of Whitney’s work. – Renate Hugel, author: The landscape dipped in celestially colored light is a purely scientifically explicable phenomenon of the refraction. With the help of this fact, people’s ecstasy is not explainable caused by this inking. If I think of the memory of our body cells, though, perhaps these ‘understand’ the transformation happening: The “diversion and breaking” of light waves which then appear in other colors. It is seeing change and metamorphosis which something mystical holds in itself. For, being demanded inwardly to go through a metamorphosis, this takes much necessaries from our inner person as of courage and determination… We are asked to break through straight lines and to allow other prospects of perception, for example…
Carol Whitney also surely had been overwhelmed by the excellent feeling of the deep respect for this natural spectacle. At the same time, she had let herself in for it to captivate this ecstatic moment of that light play on canvas – in adequate size!
She had reacted to this excellent feeling with all her energy characteristic of her!
In this place I would like to let report here Carol Whitney personally, how her picture had arisen: “… …The fire-line defining the Wichita Mountains that night was a magical experience I had years ago… when driving home from a Comanche dance. I was astonished seeing the brilliant line of flame outlining the mountains otherwise shrouded in the blackness of night. Below the prairie darkness revealed barely distinct forms of buffalo grazing at the foot of the mountains. My mind captured the mystery of the scene… making it possible for me to take the memory back to my canvas and paints …. preserving the magic of that night.” (Carol Whitney)
The photo below shows Carol Whitney. She just is about to restore her work of art in order to show it in one of the final exhibitions, and to be more precise in her gallery „Heaven“. (2001)
Directly in front of her location, grasses of every kind are growing, themselves weighing just in the stream of air and dipped into bright fiery orange. There, the observer so to speak sees every single blade of grass. While looking further roams behind the details are losing themselves and now are “pulled together” to a streak. The orange-colored stripe goes about into a dark orange sometime. This streak finally borders on a green-gray stripe. There to behind, the grass zone changes into a solid underground with short vegetation. When looking exactly silhouettes of some bison which graze there can be agreed.
The mountains then rise behind this stripe. Their steep fronts seem in a dark orange which lets suspect the rock behind. Horizontal “ribbons” are shining as bright as the level of the front location seeming also being dipped into a bright orange. Those “ribbons” therefore correspond in the fiery of the grass-strip-orange and therefore create the connection of front and background: Everything seems to be cached by the fiery glowing!
In the light shade, the dark round mountain tops lie in front of an slightly covered sky.…
Interpretation: Renate Hugel
Carol Whitney (American)
Carol Whitney’s Artist Statement: “My Life as an Indian Captive”:
“For the last 40 years my art has been inextricable linked with Oklahoma’s Native American people and our rugged Southern Plains environment.
At 72, I present my experiences of this unique world through sculpture, painting, poetry, pottery…” (See also “Art Touches Art – 30”)
(Quotation: Carol Whitney, 2009)