2019 currently in progress
Asked to respond to the "Human Condition" for a group show in Edinburgh (October 2019)...So much to respond to: the constant beauty of nature and our destruction thereof, fires, heatwaves, droughts, floods, and the ensuing migrations; and fears feeding the global rise of racism, fascism, and loss of empathy...
The one consistently visible global reaction are people (zombies?) escaping into their phones.
Into worlds of cyber games, Netflix bingeing, social networking FOMOs... Imaginary places where we create some semblance of inner control, while our external realities spin wildly beyond that control, and real solutions escape because we are too busy "connecting".
Heat, Water, and Sitting Ducks
Much of society's migration challenges are direct results of climate change and the resulting famines, crop failures, floods, destructive hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes, heat waves etc... Continuing on from my work on migration and identity, this series explores some of the root causes and effects of these changes.
My Spring '19 residency with Art Ventures Gallery on the California Coast put me in the land of rising tides, and wildfires. A trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, gave me access to the sea life below these rising, warming, polluted seas. And yet, the beauty was still there, the consistent rythms of the tides and the waves, the dance in the reflections of light, and the resilience of nature surrounding me...not willing to give up, adapting, absorbing, and perhaps even hoping for positive change...
In June 2019, I lectured in Musee Maillol in Paris about how disruptive technologies of the industrial revolution lead to the advances in painting made by the Impressionists and the parallels of those disruptions to the opportunities digital painters now have.
Impressionists, like digital artists, were called "cheaters", as society struggled to keep up with the changes they were eagerly adopting.They had a huge increase in the amount of colors and mark making materials available to them, and they had access to images from around the world (Japonisme) in unprecedented amounts, with photography as a new medium pushing their boundaries.
Armed with my iPad, and it's infinite color and mark making choices, I am now free from the burdens of carrying materials to places that wouldn't let me use them even if I had them. The choice of color and mark making tools is now governed by the visual energies I'm responding to.
The images below are my pleine air responses to "moments" in time. Observing the people, objects and energies that occupy a space, a series of paintings, a lecture, a political discussion, a bar, an airport waiting area--I continue to seek the connective tissues in our increasingly connected/disconnected world. (These pieces exist as limited edition archival prints in a variety of sizes, depending on the image.)
A tough winter, battling walking penumonia, and challenging news. Pushing the colour and energetic lines in my work helped me to express my need for spring and optimism. I've always been an active sportswoman and gardener--and there's nothing better than a good hug to heal the soul.
In a world where viewpoints are increasingly black or white, without nuance, and often not allowing for any colour mixing both literally and figuratively, I went to Cuba. Raised in America, infused with a Cold War American narrative highlighted by the Bay of Pigs, and other polarizing events, I went looking for what was beneath the surface of these political narratives. I found the cars a metaphor for a people that are resilient, in a bit of a time warp, romantic, curvacious, sassy, and cobbled together with many resourceful solutions. I found the heat/light and the cool/shade metaphors for the ways Cubans face the challenges of survival. I tried to learn Spanish, but only mastered the phrase "El mundo esta loco". It served me well, but not as well as learning to embrace the Cuban optimism and love of music, dance and the arts as a means of counterbalancing life's challenges.