Cynthia Thompson

Cynthia Thompson’s work is often referred to as Catholic in nature as it appears genuine, unadulterated, and orderly. Woven throughout this aesthetic are deeply rooted religious undertones, which undoubtedly manifest from her churchly Southern upbringing. Through this, her work takes on a new meaning. Juggling themes of desire, vulnerability, religion, beauty and the alluring nature of the body, Thompson explores issues surrounding the physical manifestations of oppression, shame and denial.

Collaborating with Paul Wong, Cynthia created an image using pigment and mold spores on watermarked cotton. Paper sheets were stacked with mold placed in the bottom post of wet paper, so that the paper closest to the mold would stain heavily, while others further away in the post would have more subtle markings. These pieces were later printed and embossed. Whisper is a straightforward image of an ear with the word “yes” embossed over it. The piece communicates an action with an implied messaged. The whisper with an accompanied “yes” leaves the viewer wondering what sort of request could elicit the compliant response.

Cynthia Thompson received a BFA in Printmaking from Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA from the Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers. She is currently the Curator and Director of Exhibitions at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Workspace Program artist-in-residence 1997