Molly Briggs is a landscape painter, theorist, and historian currently based in Champaign, Illinois, where she is completing a Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois. Her creative and scholarly practices are mutually constitutive. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships for her artwork, research, and teaching. She has been represented by Zg Gallery, Chicago, since 2004.
In painting, drawing, printmaking, and photography, I situate my work at the boundary between representation and abstraction in order to describe the constructed and collaborative nature of the landscapes that comprise the built environment. I pursue this further in my dissertation, exploring the porous interface of landscape representations with the actual urban spaces by tracing the influence of immersive nineteenth-century panorama paintings on the design and reception of large city parks in the same period. Whereas my artistic work has a scholarly side, my dissertation has a creative dimension: after building my historical arguments with traditional forms of archival and field evidence in the early chapters, I deploy an original, interactive panoramic imaging methodology in my fourth chapter. In my concluding fifth chapter, I theorize my findings in terms of the “panoramic uncanny” – a synthetic and expressive defamiliarization of problematic spaces that would not be possible with the creative grounding that comes from my engagement in artistic practice.
Spring Hill | 2015 | Flashe and acrylic on two panels | Overall dimensions 17" x 50"