Perpetually fluctuating between pop culture and protest art, Stephanie Dillon’s works are like an ongoing novel brought together by a bricolage of expressions that leads to a vocabulary configurated by her pursuits to consistently challenge herself as a painter. Her alchemy emphasizes the flexibility and tension in her work with undertones that are purposely meant for her self-discovery as a way to arise at a solution and other times, meant for the beholder to discover things for themselves.
In the void of these decisions, abstractionism and Buddhist philosophy are fluid in the canvas of Dillon’s techniques which not only deepen the artistic elements of her process but enhance the meaning of her commentary in each composition – conveying what she wants to be revealed and simultaneously concealing the message. These complexities are the “planted seeds” out of Stephanie’s Garden. “The canvas is what I use to share with people, what I think and how I feel about everything. I think my Art reflects this.” Just like the rose before its bloom, there’s a mystery and allure in the intent of the “harvest of hidden secrets” before it unveils the radiance of its petals. The magnificence of Dillon’s artistry is for the beekeeper to detect the metaphorical mirrors and seek the epiphany of its nectar.
Instead of hiding behind the esoteric wall of aesthetic theory, Dillon takes risks and utilizes her voice for “a unifying gesture” to create a balance between humanity and nature. When queried about the connection between her narrative and activism, she responded, “Art is activism in that it’s an act of courage, and for the artist, it’s their mode of communicating. The personal is political that I don›t take for granted.”
Working in all different mediums, from oil paintings to collaborating on a fashion line with Fashion designer Emily Burnett, Stephanie enjoys using discarded garments, canvases and frames and turning them into pieces of joy and beauty. “What is old is still beautiful. The canvas that exists is enough for me to paint on because Art truly can be made from anything everywhere.”
As a breast cancer survivor, Stephanie couples her passion for the conservation of the environment with learning how to reshape our social interaction with nature. Recurring themes that embody the presence of her canvas are the charm of imperfections and the flaws of overconsumption. What started as an outlet for the rollercoaster ride of enduring emotions – grief, disappointment and pain, Dillon sought shelter in the grit and unwanted, and in turn, she founded “Walls for Change,” which centers around healing the planet.
What’s been the most laborious task mentions Dillon is “Getting over myself. I don’t see myself as an agent of change; I see the world as needing to change and as a person responsible for doing what I can. My inspiration is more infinite than finite. I’m a student who is learning from my experiences and the blessing is that I get to share this with others.” ☐