Maya England at 35×35


Maya England, “Trilobite,” 2023, pencil, collage, 19 x 15 in.

“I have always been a collector and a keeper, unable to resist the allure of yet another outdated magazine or satisfying trinket,” says Maya England, a Salt Lake City artist who studied at Utah Valley University. “I value everyday accumulations of keepsakes and seemingly insignificant bits of paper.” Her collages incorporate hand drawn elements with old photographs and scraps of ephemera, usually giving themselves to open-ended realms of interpretation.

In “Trilobyte” we might see a layered juxtaposition of imagery and textures traversing the expanse of time and the spectrum of human experience. We might see the trilobite, an ancient fossil,  as a symbol of the distant past, a silent witness to the innumerable narratives that have unfolded since its era. In contrast, the black-and-white photograph captures a moment of human history, frozen in time, depicting figures that exude a sense of confidence and narrative from a period steeped in tradition. The photograph of the building suggests a space where knowledge and culture are housed, further anchoring the piece in historical context. The child, absorbed in an activity, introduces a timeless element of youth and focus, perhaps representing the perpetuity of learning and the personal shaping of one’s understanding of the world. The abstract sketch adds a dynamic counterpoint to the ordered history, hinting at the chaos and complexity that underlie the surface of any era’s facade. The inclusion of the Burton packet label, an artifact from the realm of commerce, adds a touch of the mundane and transient—objects that pass through our lives leaving subtle imprints.

By contrast, “Horse Head” suggests a more specific narrative, but what exactly? A commentary on the American West, perhaps? A place of violence and desire, as suggested by the line drawing and old rifles? Or a place of camaraderie, as suggested by the two cowboys embracing and the couple out for a day of hunting. What then, do we make of the large horse head that dominates the composition and seems to have a slightly melancholy expression?

Maya England, “Horse Head,” 2023, pencil, collage, 19 x 15 in.




Artists of Utah’s 35×35Finch Lane Gallery, Salt Lake City, through Feb. 23

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