“Constructed environments are manifestations of the formidable sense of self evident in many outsider artists; they are expressions of a primal interaction between the individual and the natural world; and they reveal an individual’s relationship with the immediate social community. As such, they articulate the psychological, spiritual and communal or political dimensions of experience, expressed through the aesthetic.
The process begins as an existential statement. Constructing the environment is an act of primal meaning making. It is a self-enactment locating the artist within a chosen and self-defined portion of the physical world. In effect, the world as found is rejected as insufficient to the artist’s greatest needs, and the artist’s creation is an expression of his or her underlying belief in the possibility of affecting, if not determining, the terms of our existence. Roger Cardinal has noted the “distinctive density” or self-presence of outsider artists. Unfettered by or in implicit rebellion against social convention, the outsider transmits onto the personally constructed environment an “aura of intensity and urgency” through which “an acute discharge of psychic energy” finds physical form, testifying to both the artist’s self-assurance and his or her passionate struggle with intensely personal subjects.” Thus, while the environments are frequently beautiful, they may also inspire awe and mystery, for they clearly bear more than solely aesthetic significance.”
–Charles Russell, Groundwaters: A Century of Art by Self-Taught and Outsider Artists (Prestel Verlag, Munich-London-New York, 2011), p 158
“on the…um…plane!” To be continued…