2006 – Cynthia Davis and Nicole Duennebier

Cynthia Davis










Nicole Duennebier


In the 16th century there was a group of painters called Carravagists who, inspired by Caravaggio’s technique, applied the painter’s deep shadow to a new level in their still-life paintings of luxury objects. Before long the obsession with darkness lead their paintings to appear to be nothing more then a void impregnated with pin-pricks of light. In these paintings “objects only exist to the extent that they can be perceived, but in order to be perceived they need light to dispel that darkness which is the original state of the world” (Norbert Schneider, Still Life, 1999).

The “original state of darkness” can be considered in relation to one human conception of nature, which is marked by confusion and anxiety. Dark woods and undersea regions best exemplify this idea. In these places, light is a foreign object brought along by the observer so they can be aware of the complex animal/plant operations at work in the darkness. In the dark we are disconnected from nature by our dull senses, which make the system of nature just beyond our perception.

“My work deals with mass growing out of darkness. These masses are made of organic and man-made materials fused together to form grotesque bodies. Delicate fabric and cakes of mold become one and the same, neither more beautiful then the other. These rotten bodies attract the attention of animals and insects, which are eventually incorporated into the form themselves.”