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Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd, South
Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
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ANNA NÚÑEZ

A MIDDLE VOICE

Senior Project APRIL 2017

“There is a middle voice between the active and passive in ancient Greek, which is used for all those actions that are neither actively directed nor passively endured, such as ‘appearing’, ‘speaking’, ‘dancing’. Drawing as the movement of a point ‘that set’s itself in motion’ can be seen as much a middle voice.” 

~ Robert Kudielka, Paul Klee: The Nature of Creation:

Works 1914-1940


This body of work was initially sparked by the Greek concept of ‘the middle voice’, an idea that led me to question the presence of a middle voice within my own creative process. As I began my senior project, I wondered about the relationship that exists between my self and my work. What compels me to make the artistic decisions that I do? How can I understand that which motivates me when I participate in an art making process that feels so natural and intuitive? In attempting to resolve these questions, I found aesthetic and conceptual inspiration in the work of early modern and abstract expressionist painters, as well as in prehistoric cave paintings, graphic design principles, and Chinese calligraphy.


My intention for this project was to divert from my profession as a graphic designer, and allow space for the exploration and understanding of my creative process. I was able to recognize influences and subtleties that seeped into the pieces during the act of making them, without conscious intent. I realized that the recurring way in which I handled linear mark making and particular color palettes led to the development of specific iconic forms: balloon-like shapes, spontaneous dots, and groups of hatched lines. These marks formed a visual language through which I can share my personal story on an emotional, abstract level. When I step back and look at A Middle Voice as a finished whole, I can sense my mother’s encouragement, hear my husband’s music and touch the hardwood floor in my studio. I can even feel my relationship with the God that I believe in – it lies in the paint, elusive and unrecognizable to the naked eye, just like the creative process that it took to produce the work itself.


A Middle Voice includes mixed media collagraph prints, and small-scale watercolor and ink paintings. Each mixed media collagraph was created from a matte board and gesso plate, printed on a press with minimal ink to appear transparent, and treated with further applications of ink and watercolor at later stages. For the miniature paintings, rag paper was torn and taped down before the media was applied in several layers. All of the works in A Middle Voice were given a title that was inspired by one of the poems in Constance Carrier’s poetry book, The Middle Voice, (which I actually came across after I decided on the name for my senior project) or by a section in Madeleine L’Engle’s book, Walking on Water. The tiny watercolor paintings are suspended as small parts of an interactive installation, where each piece can be unclipped and sold at the exhibition opening. The dense and scattered installation of these tiny paintings acts as a metaphor for the chaos that is the creative process, and their removal references the fleeting nature of my time spent in art school. I hope that the works, when sold, will continue to speak on my behalf of the process that it took to create them, long after the show ends and I move on to other things.