18,000ft - tiny, human, joyous and proud. Thin air freezing in my nostrils, warm heart pounding, boots sunk into this crunchy glittering island - the anxiety I was struggling with was nowhere to be seen, obliterated by a sea of cloud stretching pink and otherworldly past the curved horizon.
I need that transcendent glory in my life - the space that nature gives you to be human.
Cartoon anxiety is a pacing, hand-wringing, hyperventilating creature; mine is suffocation by static - an internal hailstorm of critique.
It’s hard work to let go of warp-speed digital-age angst. The writing I do in my paintings is an untangling of that inner cacophony. Contemporary concerns about art, femininity and self-worth - oscillating between personally specific and universal. I write to myself and also directly to the future viewer.
I explore the layered relationships between art, cultural ideas of worth, femininity, mental health, and interior landscape.
Work of a simply emotional nature is often associated with being simplistic or one-dimensional. However, work that is simply detached and concept driven is often celebrated without discussion of it's emotional impact. The automatic assumption is that cerebral work must have value - while emotion is not currently considered a basis on which to assess worth.
I dig into this phenomenon - asking myself and the viewer - why is this the case? Is this congruent with the role we want art to play in our culture? Sometimes it looks an awful lot like a symptom of the cultural devaluing of attributes considered feminine. Do we want the art world to perpetuate these imbalanced, patriarchal definitions of value and worth?
This is an extended part of a conversation about the line between "FineArt" and "craft". Craft, being associated with homemaking and non-white cultures - is often regarded as less valuable than work associated with the privileged, intellectual institution of Fine Art.
These are complicated, layered topics of privilege and the role of art in culture and I'm not concise or short in my exploration of them. I employ questions, rhetorical and open ended, personally specific and globally theoretical - the writing I do is expansive and verbose.
I believe that the best art engages both emotionally and conceptually. I layer inquiry and criticality with expression - intimate and universal.
Large scale work can swallow the viewer, as vast landscape does. It reminds you of your body, your scale, your breath. I’m inviting viewers to experience the space I need and sharing how I got there.
I paint what quiet sound remains after I scrape out all the dissonance. Reaching past untangling for that moment of being present, reaching for the sublime.