The Nevica Project

Dana DeAno | 2.5 Dimensions of Fine Art

DeAno is a Chicago-based “two and a half dimensional”, multi-media artist. Her works of paper and fabric remnants, thread, paint chips, discarded plastic scraps, and even the occasional old, rubber tire scraps challenge the canon and traditional denotation of drawing. We got together with The School of the Art Institute MFA grad to chat about her creative process, future projects, and current exhibitions.

1.) You create your mixed media works utilizing “domestic throwaways”—tire pieces, plastic, bits of fabric, and netting. Was there ever an unlikely material that really surprised you in how effectively it functioned within a work?

Hairnets!  A collector dropped some off at my studio years ago and I never really understood why. But, I ended up using a few of them in my drawings and was really happy with their elasticity and ability to add another dimension to the works, by being able to add under, above and through them.   

2.) You have spoken before of striving for “pause” in your artwork. Is the pause created by negative space or can a subject matter, abstract or otherwise, engender a similar pause in the viewer? How does pausing with the work affect your process of creating it?

The pause generally comes with the negative space in the works on paper.  I also often refer to this as "breathing room," an area where your eye, mind, emotions can simply sit for a minute and rest.  I think this is something we all need from time to time.  Through my process, I am giving myself many pauses or time for rest, filling the plate, editing the plate, looking... looking...looking, and starting back again and again.

3.) Your current exhibition, “Town and Country” is on display at the Elmhurst Art Museum until June 12th.  Can you speak to the pieces included in the show, their material, and how they reflect the title of the exhibition?

I am showing twelve pieces of a larger series that I have been working on steadily for the last two years.  They are all on paper with a variety of mixed media (thread, plastic, fabric remnants, paint) with the majority of them constructed in sets or diptychs.  Town and Country was a title that I had planned to name one of the individual sets, but for some reason it rang louder to me and fit nicely with my abstract landscapes in the series of places near and far, real or fictitious, in town or in country.