Marie Navarre’s deep interest in poetry, especially the Japanese form of Haiku, has had a profound influence on her work. She conjures dreamlike images that appear to be from just outside the realm of human observation, like the fragments of a distant memory. She prints her mysterious and timeless images of flocks of birds, grey sky and shimmering endless horizons unmoored from specific times and places, then hand stitches over a background of Gampi paper—a soft, silky Japanese paper that has a satin-like sheen. These enigmatic photographic constructions document the implications of a moment rather than its actuality. The artist understands that her relationship to photography is complex: “I have this trouble of being a photographer but wanting to make the photographs into something else. I still think like a photographer even though in some ways I’m sabotaging the way that photography works. I still begin my artmaking process by making pictures. I don’t know how to begin without the photograph.” At play is the tension of a fixed medium documenting a world in movement.
Navarre has a BA, MA and MFA from Arizona State University. Her work is collected nationally and she has received a number of awards including a Capp Street Project Residency Grant in San Francisco for her collaboration with Jim Campbell on an interactive audio-visual installation.