Sandra Muss explores the mysteries of life, the magical characteristics of light, and the strength of the elements in her multimedia work, which ranges from large-scale paintings and assemblages to site-specific installations. Inspired by her travels to such diverse places as New Zealand, the Arctic Circle, the Nā Pali Coast in Hawaii, and the Dordogne River Valley in France, Muss transposes the ethos of a site onto her canvas with oil, paint, and found materials. Bird feathers, tortoise shells, flowers, horseshoes, building rubble, whale bones, wood, and more enhance the texture of her layered works while creating a sense of time and transformation.
Muss assembles objects from all over the world to create large works that depict her explorations, both internal and external, of a particular location and time. The canvases become portals into the worlds where she has journeyed.
Sandra Muss's new series Permutations revives 19th Century industrial doors that are marked by decades of factory life. She re-imagines these doors as gateways to other dimensions—they represent new experiences in life, both spiritual and emotional. With these pieces, Muss reasserts herself as a visual alchemist who evokes the different pathways we take throughout our lives with her doors. Each door holds the potential to bring us love, growth, and life-transforming opportunities.
The theme of doors and openings reoccurs in Muss’ sculptures and paintings. Openings and spaces in her work connote possibility, the potential to enter into new realms and transcend quotidian experience. The artist weaves her insights learned from studying shamanism and Kabbalah into the work to create gateways to greater knowledge of the universe and one’s self.