Kayla Cloonan, “Peripheral Nerve” at Shoebox Projects


Kayla Cloonan
“Peripheral Nerve”

Artist in Residence

Shoebox Projects
660 South Avenue 21 #3
LA Ca 90031


Memory. Loss. Trauma. Pain. Love. Anger. Thrill. Anxiety. Obsession. Seeking Connectivity. Constructing Consciousness. I am a compilation of knowledge, experiences and beliefs being constantly broken up and rearranged throughout life’s unexpected turns. Everything that is now is what is past accumulated. A visual exploration of moments from my life, manifested through a visceral \ exploration of surface and material. The work explores the rhythm of my body moving in space, flailing in frustration, searching for meaning in past memories; information fragmented and compiled from the past to inform the present and fantasize of the future. The sensation of being in my body, of being aware of my breathing, of feeling the weight of existence on my chest. The beautiful chaos of it all: analyzed, deconstructed, reconsidered. A fascination with human inconsistencies and peripheral remnants of materials, marks and stains carrying bits of unspoken stories. Material has meaning. Bedsheets carry an element of intimacy. Shower curtains a moment of privacy, vulnerability. Wood a structural integrity. Fabric an ephemerality. There is a history on the surface. An impression; an interaction of space, with both the potential and limitation of the body. I am a specimen up for consideration. “Insecurity is the illusion that this is only happening to you.”

Kayla Cloonan was born in South Florida, bouncing between the urban city-center of Miami and the suburban small town of Port Charlotte. Frequent moving around – changing schools and meeting new people – shaped her curious mind. Always eager to learn from a young age, Kayla studied orchestral music, discovered narrative writing, developed an eye for photography and an obsession with psychology and philosophy.

Continuing on to higher education, Kayla’s original intention was to pursue photography. Having focused on B&W film photography in her high school years, Kayla started at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia with a major in photography. After a couple quarters in the program, she realized the inherent commercial focus of the major. Longing to create more expressive and tactile works, Kayla left school. She spent the summer in New Hampshire with extended family, interning at The Currier Museum of Art. This was a turning point as Kayla realized her calling in fine art. She returned to school in the fall with a major in painting, having little experience with either drawing or painting; simply with the knowledge that the major allowed for experimentation and conceptual development.

She received her B.F.A. in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2013. Combining years of curiosity and varying perspectives from writing to photography, Kayla has developed further into interdisciplinary studio work. Her paintings, drawings, collages, performances and installations come together in an experimentation of materials, surfaces, colors and open-ended narratives. Kayla’s work seeks to challenge the viewers perspective, offering raw personal experiences in the public space. Previous representation at EN EM Art Space in Sacramento. Kayla lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

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