Visual / fine art biography
Through color, form and texture, multi-media artist Corinne West captures ephemeral moments and fixes them in time. Her works in monoprint, Chine-colle' and mixed media juxtapose mystery with the temporal to generate a beguiling visual narrative. Inspired by a lifelong study of mythology and anthropology, West believes that art, music and poetry reflect greater truths and affirm the connectivity of all things. “Myth and Art are different sides of the same coin to me,” she explains, “Stories that rise to the height of mythology only survive if they reflect a powerful aspect of the human experience. The metaphors and symbolism therein serve as signposts that indirectly and beautifully guide us to understanding our existence with all of its thorns and blossoms. I am compelled to work with these symbols in varying color palettes and mediums, in both an abstract and a direct approach.”
When Corinne was 15 years old, she left home for what she refers to as a “choose your own education adventure.” Traveling around the country in a converted school bus, she became part of a community of counter-culture peace activists and artists who, at the time, represented a radical, coalescent world view and a new paradigm for a changing planet. After three years on the road, she set out on her own. She spent some time in the small mountain town of Forest Falls CA, where she lived in a cabin her great-grandfather built in the 1800’s, then moved to the High Sierras to focus on art and songwriting. She opened the Art Works Studio, a live/work space where she designed and created glass and metal sculpture, custom functional art, and fine art installations. Her work has been privately and publicly commissioned and has been displayed at numerous galleries and public spaces, including the San Francisco Design Center. West eventually closed the Art Works Studio, launched her label Make Records and spent the next several years recording and producing her original music, while performing around the world.
In 2011, at the end of a tour covering 11 countries, Corinne took a sabbatical from performing full-time. She was granted an Austrian Artist in Residency Visa to create both visual art and music in the country. During the residency, she was commissioned to create a large-scale installation, which involved transforming an abandoned castle into a magical dreamscape. “Fairy Night At The Villa,” a private event which Corinne describes as a “multi-dimensional art experience,” featured the entire estate. On the grounds outside the castle, she installed multi-colored lighting design, fire dancers, mimes and roaming minstrels. Costumed actors mingled with guests, all in line with the mythic Fairy Tale Theme. The highlight was the nine interior rooms, each with a different detailed themed installation for the guests to explore, including “The Tapestry Room,” “The Fortune Teller’s Den,” “47 Mirrors and a Chandelier,” and the “Unframed Framed” room. The installation involved a multitude of mediums and was completed in just one month. Corinne emerged from her residency in Austria and returned to the United States with renewed inspiration and focus.
In 2013, she began printmaking. She was drawn to the “unexpected” nature of the medium. While each print is infused with a conceptual intention, the process ultimately dictates the outcome. “Part of the fascination is in the unfolding, in never knowing what the piece will look like until the very end when you peel the paper back, releasing it from the press,” she says. A 77-piece collection of her prints was recently featured at the Plumas County Arts Commission in Quincy, CA.
Corinne has a Degree in Art from the New College in San Francisco. She is also a certified alchemical hypnotherapist and specializes in helping artists remove internal blocks that obscure their creative process. Her approach, both in individual sessions and workshops, include Creative Trance and specific writing exercises for poets, songwriters, visual artists and writers. Through the therapeutic power of hypnosis, Corinne’s work empowers people to tap into the innate abundance of riches that live in the subconscious of each individual.
Music is also an integral part of Corinne’s palette of expression. A highly-regarded singer-songwriter, Corinne has recorded five critically-acclaimed albums and has toured extensively throughout the United States and internationally. In 2015, her song “Change My Ways,” from her folk-rock project “Fire is a Phoenix,” was on the Starbucks national playlist for the month of October and was also featured monthlong on the primetime trailer for the HBO series “The Leftovers.”
Corinne feels that all of her artistic channels inform each other. “My work stems from one core source, landing in different forms, shapes and mediums ” she says. The through line is in the enduring motif of connection. In her words: “Art is fascinating to me as a means of integrating people with their environment, their culture/community and, most importantly, with themselves. Creating is a powerful connective tissue. Art in a vacuum carries the potency of a song unsung.”