I use light to illuminate our shared humanity. I believe the highest achievement for an artist is the transformation of physical materials into light, be it graphite or charcoal on paper, paint on canvas or the projection of images through film onto or through a surface. For me, this transformation of materials is a deeply spiritual experience because it suggests that both singularly and collectively, we are made of the same materials as stars. This idea is central to my work. I create art by funneling the world through my psyche in peculiar ways. The secret for me is to remain open to exploration, allowing the soul of a place to reveal its magic. Standing in my studio in the middle of the night, I remember the dusty afternoon light falling across a carnival ride in western Massachusetts. Sifting shapes through my mind and memory, I push homely images towards the iconic: the carnival ride takes on the majesty of a Biblical passage or a Mayan temple. Light is the only presence in art that time cannot erode. It is the constant in my work. It enables me to forge connections between the present and the past. How is Rembrandt’s light different from my own? The work of the Old Masters has inspired me since childhood and the nocturnes of Turner, Whistler and Hopper continue to light a path for me. My drawings, paintings, prints and videos are documents. They evidence my perplexing feelings about the time we live in. Growing up in the United States in the twentieth century, I have spent my life observing an empire in decline. Creating scenes of vernacular architecture, carnival and the empty spaces along the American highways in light and shadow, I ask my work to whisper across time and space – this is how it felt to be here!
Adell Donaghue was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1958. Her drawings, paintings and prints are in public and private collections throughout the United States. A professional artist for the past forty years, Adell’s work has appeared in over eighty exhibits, including seven solo shows. Her drawings and prints have been included in collections of poetry and short fiction.
Adell has worked as a teacher and mentor, an art director, interior designer and set designer. She has worked in theater and the fine arts, the corporate world and in academia.
Adell ran an award winning design and advertising business for over twenty years and her commercial work included clients in the corporate, non-profit and small business sectors. She studied drawing and design, painting and printmaking as well as sculpture and ceramics for more than a decade with many gifted artists. Adell received her BFA and MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, MA.
Adell is the co-founder of Simian Press and a co-founder and publisher of LINEA literary magazine.