Life-sized, sprawling canvases house images of animals that learned to live in new worlds, in habitats created by humans. Vidger’s painted canvases are aged with natural elements to move away from traditional, romanticized landscapes. She removes the animals from their environments, from their homes so we see them in this state of limbo, wondering where they go next. “By utilizing natural pigments to age my canvases, I present an alternative landscape that expresses the duality of desolation and splendor.”
Vidger explores common themes of survival and struggle that life confronts us all with. Her work offers the viewer opportunities to question human-focused hierarchy. “I want to confront the viewers with the power, mystery, fear, and beauty that is encapsulated within the animal gaze and the animal form to bridge the perceived line between animals and humans.”
Vidger’s work also examines society’s perceived superiority over animals. “I seek to reforge a broken relationship between people and animals by creating a physical space that viewers can reflect on the niches animals inhabit in a human-dominated landscape. My paintings balance refined and unrefined areas to represent the fracturing of animal populations and the surreal and isolated environments that animals are increasingly forced to navigate.”
Born and raised in Colorado, Vidger experienced nature growing up with day trips in the Rocky Mountains. “Subconsciously, there was a division in my mind between myself and animals. They were among the trees and rocks. And I was between ranch style homes and manicured lawns. Despite this division, I developed a kinship with animals. They felt familiar and relatable. Eventually, I developed a deep love and insatiable curiosity for wildlife. Art has long served as a way for me to satisfy and explore this passion.”
Vidger received a BFA from Adams State University and an MFA from Herron School of Art and Design with emphasis in painting and drawing. After the typical structured study of art in form, shape, and light, Vidger progressed into a focus of animal art. In her early years, surreal platforms gave way to animal form, composing voices for her subjects and their plights.
Masks are required. Made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.