Christie Stockstill was born in 1973 in Columbus, Mississippi. Her early childhood summers were spent camping in the Ozarks with her whole family: grandparents, aunts and cousins who were more like sisters. She credits those camping trips with her interest in nature, and those long drives made before portable electronic devices with her love of reading and writing. She planned to be a writer.
Christie graduated from St. Mary's University with degrees in both Literature and Philosophy. When a boyfriend gave her a manual camera as a gift, it didn't take long to realize that what she had been attempting to express in words could also be expressed through imagery. Her work, whether it is one image or a collection, is always an expression of much focused thought on a subject and an attempt at presenting an abstract idea in a concrete medium.
Her work has been shown in group and solo shows and hangs in the homes of collectors around the world. She loves to inspire other artists through creative retreats and workshops. Today, she is married to the boyfriend who gave her that camera. They have two sons and live in Austin, Texas.
What I am really doing when I create a new piece, or a series of pieces, is trying to tap into the collective unconscious, understand my participation in it and explore some of the elements of what it means to be a human being, I am saying, "I see you. Do you see me?"
It is my hope that I create works that the viewer will connect with on some level, and that any surreal aspects of my work will make sense and not be a distraction. The challenges we face as human beings�trying to understand ourselves and see ourselves in others�often require more than the physical world makes available to us. I am moved by the black and white storytelling of Sally Mann and William Eggleston's colorful scenes from everyday life and drawn to the space around William Carlos Williams' observant poetry. Their work grounds me. At the same time, I am drawn to surrealist painters like Salvador Dal� and Leonora Carrington and boundary-breaking jazz artists like John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. Their work pushes me.
It is fitting that I've made my home in the middle�in magical realism where stories and art take place in a very real setting but where fantastic things happen. My images may have their foundation in "truth," in a universal experience, but the resulting images often skew or extend the bounds of what we typically accept as real. When I first get an idea for a new piece, I may not even recognize it. I'll find myself with a thought, and when the idea doesn't leave me alone, I force myself to be still and give it room to formulate. Often this looks like me, lying on the floor, staring at the ceiling fan. I've learned to trust the process.
I create as much as possible in camera, but all of my images eventually find their way into Photoshop, whether it be for some minor adjustments or to add a bit of mystery and distortion�that dreamy, other-worldly look.
For most of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, I was working on a new series centered around the ways human beings connect with and rely on, not just each other, but also on nature and technology. The inability to physically connect with other people has made it impossible to make new images. I'm doing a lot of drawing and painting, and I find myself frequently on the floor, staring at the ceiling fan, contemplating this interdependence. The series is already changing.
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