Interview with Artist Christine Stoddard
1. What are the sources of inspiration for your art?
Lord Tennyson once wrote, “I am a part of all that I have met.”
I create with this same thought in mind, using art as an opportunity to honor, explore, or at least acknowledge all that I have met. Many of my pieces draw heavily from my personal background and experiences. Of course, I often push my real-life dramas into imaginary realms and make up stories for strangers I have spent months or years observing. A narrative can be constructed for anything. At least I think so.
2. What feelings are you trying to evoke in the viewer in “Prayers Past”?
I wanted to convey the strong feminine energy I sense in the desert and use the figure of a raven as the messenger. Maybe it's because I'm from the East Coast, but the desert has always felt so ancient to me. It makes me think of the time when matriarchal societies, not patriarchal societies, were the norm. I don't think we should return to matriarchy because I don't believe women are better than men, but I do wish we could achieve a true democracy where all people—male, female, and otherwise—are actually treated equally. To get there, though, it almost seems that we have to start society all over. We have to look to the past to mold the future into a just and sustainable reality.
3. If you could ask an artist to paint you (either present or past), who would it be and why?
I would ask Frida Kahlo to paint me because her style is so raw and emotional. I would trust her to see and interpret my soul. I also want to be seen through the female gaze rather than the male gaze. We need more female artists to share their insights with the world.