Dara Engler
A Pirate’s Guide to Survival

My work is an allegorical storybook narrative, embracing adventure and human foible. Inspired by my four years in Louisiana and by Karen Russell’s book “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves,” this pirate has adopted the curiosity of Russell’s characters. I was struck by her character’s combative reverence for their natural environment. My character is sailing the seven seas, spearfishing for sea lamprey, skinning squirrels, and learning to build wattle and daub shelter. She is an explorer, running into new creatures in new lands.
My work plays with flatness, pattern and line juxtaposed with the rendered form. It is unclear whether the figure is outside or whether the background is a backdrop in an imagined space. The paintings teeter between real and imagined worlds, between fact and fiction.

-Dara Engler, 2015