Becky Wareing Steele
I’ve always been drawn to miniatures and their ability to tell a story or evoke an emotion. Through my sculptural and photographic work with 1:160 scale figures, I explore the impact of scale and how it effects our perception of the world around us. This impact can also be found in the way we perceive ourselves in our environment.
In more recent series I have developed narrative components to accompany the works, allowing the viewer to connect with the piece on a deeper level. Using settings familiar and accessible to everyone is a key component of my work. Through this process I am able to alter the way people view everyday situations, seemingly mundane at times, and invite the viewer to think about their place in the environment by altering the scale.
Community is essential to my work as an artist and in this new age of social media and immediate feedback I was able to explore that concept in my photographic series, "The Adventures of Henri & Evelyn." This series follows a couple on their travels, often finding them in precarious situations which leads to witty banter between the two in the accompanying captions. This allows viewers to identify with the couple and feel more a part of the work. From 2013-2015 I explored this series and integrated community feedback as it grew.
Wanting to continue working within this narrative structure I began work on the series "Family Vacation...UGHHH" which explored the teenager/family dynamic in the familiar setting of a family road trip. Each of the five works in this exhibition looked in on a family dealing with a hormonal melt down at a National Park. The works were composed to have the idyllic feel of a travel postcard but were hiding the deeper issue going on in the scene which the accompanied dialogue expressed. Again in this series I was able to find that common thread that connects us all. I invited visitors to write about their own family vacation experiences and found that so many had similar experiences through their youth and were able to insert themselves into scene and reflect upon their memories in this shared experience.
Through my use of humor in my artistic practice, I am able to connect the viewer with my work. There is something familiar and comforting to my medium that allows me the opportunity to find those commonalities with my audience and it becomes more of an ongoing conversation rather than something I work on in private. Community engagement plays an essential role in my creative process and the open studio format at RedLine would allow me the opportunity to interact with the public and inform my process as an artist encouraging my ability to grow and handle more complex social justice issues that impact the larger community.