My recent work explores the soft, sustaining excitement of contentedness and genuine comfort that accompanies the times of life when everything is just fine. I find these lengths of existence to be among the most interesting for their seemingly “in-between” quality, yet in reality the majority of our life is spent not in the peaks or valleys, but somewhere in the middle. While they’re not marked by life-affirming memories, I hold these languid stretches so dear for the quiet warmth that accompanies simplicity.
The Burnt Umber and Yellow Ochre used in this work was purchased at an estate sale I was exploring while visiting my family back home. This paint was old, and well loved by its previous owner, but I could tell by his annotations on the tubes that he was a hobby model maker during his “in-between” times. When things were calm in life, he found gentle elation in the exploration of a new passion. To some these activities read as mundane, but to this stranger and me they are the enveloping of comfort.
Bite My Tongue
There is a dichotomy between thought and speech, emotion and projection, feeling and telling. Racing thoughts, ruminating notions, and uncertain actions occupy the same infinite space as a lexicon of social mores. The innumerable thoughts that surge through our minds are sifted down through a screen of what is acceptable, attractive, or unobjectionable, until a carefully curated silhouette is projected. Bite My Tongue is a visual abstraction of reticent self-criticisms, beliefs undeclared, and retorts silenced by an apprehensive mind. Take a look below to glimpse the multitude of thoughts bouncing around an anxious mind, while struggling to maintain a pristine exterior that plays nice with others. In a world short on candor and over saturated with internet flattery, don't you wonder what others really think?
These pieces are conversations, passing glances, lifetimes, and love affairs. Color choices manifested from the ecstasy, rage, shame, and desire that span the human condition. Obscured by haze of intense emotions, we allow ourselves to be changed by the relationships we inhabit, for better and worse, as our actions ripple out to effect those beyond our locus of control. This collection is a cumulative assemblage of a year's work in hospice and my study of grief, loss, romance, reminiscence, and the unending ways they move us. Without drawing close attention to this shift, we stifle the opportunity to expand our collective consciousness as ever-evolving emotional beings. To cease growth is to begin to perish.
I utilize fiber in addition to paint because some things need to break the two dimensional plane to truly be communicated. Fiber allows me to tell similar stories as my paintings in an unfamiliar way. Materials that are tactically soft and flexible can be used to create clean, modern lines in addition to the free-flowing, organic shapes, representative of the duality of many human emotions. The fibers are all at once ancient and contemporary, aligning with my favorite design principle of co-mingling old and new.