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Philadelphia artist Colleen McCubbin Stepanic is known for her large-scale installations that feature a series of various sized 3-dimensional spirals sourced from her own 2-dimensional paintings on canvas. Stepanic cuts her original acrylic or oil-based paintings into spirals and sews them back together to create dimensional conical shapes. The individual forms are then composed and assembled into multiple clusters to create larger-scale landscape-like formations. Each form is beautifully detailed with unique patterns and colors--an inkling of its painted origin. When amassed as a singular construction, the canvas spirals with their peaks and valleys elude to a dynamic natural occurrence as they seem to swirl, grow, and push against each other.

Stepanic compares her labor intensive and repetitious working methods to “geological processes” or active natural processes that transform the earth—erosion, mountain formations, plate tectonics—some destructive and others constructive. Stepanic’s processes are like nature as she similarly destroys and rebuilds her work.  She describes her initial approach as “a series of repetitive aggressive actions as I cut and rip apart canvases.” Stepanic then begins to recreate the work using thread to shape it. One after the other, the accumulation of spirals slowly develops into a larger field of unique, yet similar forms.

Stepanic’s sculptural work and in particular her process, also draws a connection to human experiences—labor, time, emotion, repetition, destruction, and transformation.  And out of these commonly shared experiences, Stepanic has created something new and beautiful.

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