Regimes of (dis)order, 2018

Regimes of (dis)order is an installation based on the institutional archive, library and museum. Through documentation and fabrication, Betsy Stirratt photographs, mounts and organizes images and objects that provide a novel lens through which to regard the natural world. The elements reflect both our unanswered questions about nature and our quest for knowledge.


My recent paintings refer to both the infinite and the microscopic and are ultimately metaphysical. Each picture is a constructed world that utilizes light and dark, repulsion and attraction to depict ambiguous spaces and atmospheres. The night sky and the smallest molecule are referenced and measured, rendered in both representational and abstract form. I invoke the ghostly, the paranormal and the spiritual to create an immersive environment that invites contemplation. In introducing control over this world by measuring and marking the surface, I hope to make some sense of it.

The paintings are made intuitively, based on research into subjects as diverse as mycology, pathology, botany, memory, imagination, religion and spirituality. These interests inform the treatment of the painted surface, and my fascination with these scientific and spiritual practices lends the graphic and pictorial elements gravity. The paintings invoke a mood of cool sadness.

In exploring historical information about apparitions and hallucinations, I am able to allude to private and unexpressed thoughts and very personal concerns in these works. The paintings address mourning, sorrow and regret, loss and an acceptance that we will never understand the world. They reference a sadness of what could have been, and also a glimmer of hope of what could be.