Having begun her training in the theatre arts, Chelsea discovered a love of self-expression through abstract painting, installation art, and sculpture. With her art she delves into the experience of her own emotions and connections, while also exploring the world around her. It is important to her art practice that she explore a different emotion or experience with each piece, though straying away from darker colors and rather focusing on the vibrancy of each experience, which is reflected in her color palette. Though a Detroit native, Chelsea is currently located out of Lexington, Kentucky. You can follow her work at cncriger.com and on Instagram at @cncrigerart.
In the summer of 2017 I found myself desperately needing to escape the routine of my everyday life. I sought out somewhere I could escape to, and an art residency seemed like the perfect option to get away while simultaneously focusing on creating artwork. Iceland turned out to be the perfect fit — a tucked away island where I could still find a sense of community yet be disconnected at the same time. The experiences I had there were ultimately one of the most freeing that I have had in my life so far.
I ended taking up residency at the Fish Factory Creative Centre in Stöðvarfjörður, Iceland (a village of 100 to 200 people located in the east fjords). The Creative Centre is a non-profit organization that is based out of an abandoned fish factory that the founders bought and restored. The residency is solely run by volunteers who “want to regenerate and sustain our small village by making it into a possible and desirable place to settle – a place where you can have engaging jobs, enjoy culture, and the influx of new ideas and creative people.”
During my stay at the residency, I created a mural, various abstract paintings, and linoleum prints in two of their seven workshops and studios.
Ad Elska, the mural that I painted in the entry way of the Fish Factory, is the representation of what I believe the emotion love would look like if it had a physical form. Love is ever growing, always changing and spanning various lengths of time. It can be timid in areas but explosive in others. Some dark spots may be scattered throughout the feeling, but it is always vivid overall. The sense of community that I found in Iceland was exceptional warm and filled to the brim with various types of love, despite the cold and harsh nature that their country’s environment can sometimes be. I found that the Fish Factory Creative Centre was the perfect place to splatter love across a wall.
After my mural was completed, I begun focusing on creating smaller paintings, such as “Searching” and “Púls”, which continued to explore my emotions as they evolved while I spent further time in Iceland. Besides painting, I took it upon myself to take the opportunity to learn how to produce linoleum prints due to the fact that the Fish Factory has a printing studio that their artists in residence can use. “Solace” was the result of that learning period, which was an exercise in exploring my place away from the rush of the typical American lifestyle that I was accustomed to.