Carol Wilder's works of the late 1980's and early 1990's show the development of her interest in texture, shape and color as expressive elements. Her focus often turned to childhood imagery of her Pleasant Grove neighborhood and then to her newly acquired interest in race relations. It was during this period that her shapes became more defined at times taking on specific meanings. For example the soft triangle of earlier work evolved into a vessel shape which to her became a symbol of the human spirit. Those years were a rich period of personal expression.
Carol's later mixed media works on paper are influenced by a prolonged study of ancient Christian Art symbolism and meaning. They are intimate and utilize a border not unlike Byzantine icons. The symbols include the circular nimbus--a saint who has passed into Paradise; the mandorla encompasses Christ and other important figures of Christian art; the repetition of shapes in groups of three--the Trinity. The term "Orans" refers to a figure found in many of the wall paintings of the catacombs. Standing with uplifted hands and looking up, this figure symbolizes the recently departed saint.
The shaped picture plane reflects a desire to move beyond the confines of the rectangular and engage a negative space outside the image. This development has resulted in a search for perfect form and a visualization of unseen.
She has added some of her personal symbolism to that of the ancient artist; the vessel shape that represents the human soul/spirit, the floral pattern symbolizes peace, and stripes that represent healing. The use of the canceled postage stamps as a pattern stabilizes space while representing our own worth in God's eyes. They are from her Grandmother's stamp collection; worthless in their commonalty but priceless in their individual uniqueness.
Carol's Charcoal Drawings are part of her later period. The inspirations for her drawings are the interior gothic spaces experienced in trips to France, Spain, and Italy. She became intrigued not only with the immense mass of these structures, but also the mystery, drama, and historical significance.
Her purpose in these drawings is to express the light and structure, and to peruse the abstraction and the reference of the Gothic ideal. Medieval architects were motivated by forests with trees forming arches and vaults with their branches and leaves overhead. The arches and vaults of the 12th century cathedrals are abstracts of this forest scenario.
The drawings portray the vaulted ceilings that command the attention upward. The light source is reminiscent of light filtered through leaves in a forest. This perspective is intended to express the experience of standing inside the structure.
The process of drawing would return her to these structures and she could again experience the mystery, drama, and linear poetry of the Gothic.
Works of late 1980's and early 1990's