My childhood was spent dancing. It was my first identity and my first mode of expression as an artist, and one that continues to inform my work to this day. When I begin working on a new piece, I see the paper or canvas as an empty stage and the line as movement. Texture, form, and the way that colors interact are all different manifestations of motion, rhythm, and energy.
I tend to work in series developing a language and following it as it morphs and evolves. My Tuning Fields series uses line-driven layers of color to create loose yet formal fields of motion that are abstract and at the same time evocative of shapes and patterns found in nature. In the Choros series of paintings, collages, and woodblock prints, the central preoccupation is with an interplay of shapes that have a solid, even muscular form, to convey a sense of motion and choreography.
In a recent quest to find shapes for my pieces, I started dancing again, filming myself dancing and using film clips and screen shots from the videos for my work. This process led to the discovery of a different way of drawing and playing with form in a new series of video and mixed media work. These self-portraits are to me like moving paintings with choreographed patterns that explore drawing in space.
about the artist
Born in North Carolina and raised in Pennsylvania, Margaret Garrett currently lives and maintains a studio on Shelter Island, New York. She left home at the age of 16 to join the Pennsylvania Ballet Company and later joined the Cleveland Ballet as a soloist. At the age of 22, she began painting, finding a spiritual connection to dance in the movement of line and color.
Garrett’s work has been widely exhibited in galleries, museums and art fairs, including the Parrish Art Museum, the Heckscher Museum, Danese/Corey, Art Miami, Art on Paper and the Armory Show. In 2018, she was awarded a fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work is held in the Parrish Art Museum and Guild Hall Museum and in numerous private and corporate collections in the United States and Europe.