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Dara Alter
Hillsborough, NJ

Artwork Details
French Plaza
Acrylic on canvas
12" x 12"

Dara Alter is a Canadian painter living and working in Central Jersey. She graduated from the University of Guelph in Canada in 2009. After immigrating to the United States, Dara exhibited frequently across the country and in Canada. Most recently, her work has been displayed at The Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University, Art Connects New York in Brooklyn, The Rosewood Gallery in Ohio, and The Morris and Sally Justein Heritage Museum in Toronto.

Dara uses her paintings to examine the relationship between people and places. She takes into account the use of online mapping and GPS that often prefaces any interaction with a new place. Web-based mapping applications are utilized throughout her painting process and visual evidence of these platforms are embedded in her work. Dara is currently an artist-in-residence at Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ. She is also a CFEVA Fellow.

With the convenience of Google Earth and Street View, we can travel without ever leaving our seats. All that's missing is the physical experience of being present in a place. I fill this gap by compressing experiences and transferring them into my autobiographical landscape paintings. As part of that journey, I study place by considering a location's experiential properties along with its natural and physical properties. Every component of a place enters my work-from the fly buzzing around one's face, to the dull sound of drilling heard many miles away. Experiences take shape through elements of abstraction that weave through vegetation-flora and fauna.

Some visual aspects are left up to chance as I pour a watery mix of paint that leaves random shapes when dry. The splatters are not made deliberately to serve the landscape. Instead, I build a landscape around whichever marks appear. As a precursor to painting, I use Google Street View to travel remotely. This preparatory work has become an integral part of my exploration of the geography of human experience. Web-based mapping applications are now intricately linked to how we engage with places, how we perceive places, and how we travel. I take note of the visual language in these programs and leave evidence of this in my landscapes.

Dara is showing as a Resident Artist at Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ throughout 2013.