Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Artist Statement: Wholeness


To be whole, is described as being healthy, entire; recovered from a wound or injury; restored; free of defect or impairment; mentally and emotionally sound; constituting an undivided unit; constituting a person in their full nature; not having omitted or disregarded anything; a coherent system or organization of parts working together as one; Referenced from Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

Wholeness. Many of us seek to become whole. To be and become what we can be. To be given the opportunity and the circumstances to know wholeness as a human being. That is undoubtely a blessing. We can find wholeness by engaging in an assortment of activities and relationships that will help us grow, flourish, and lead to our transformation. This has been a theme in my art practice, and my philosophy of life ever since I can remember.

Most, though not all of the work I am presenting for this solo exhibition are handwoven tapestries. Two series or bodies of work are presented, distinguished by their use of colour and the manner in which they are hung. What unites the two groups of work is that both groups of work seek to interpret visually the human experience of emotion, states and interactions. They have been inspired by a large body of research on religion, psychology, spirituality and scientific studies on the effects of colour. The series that employs bright colours is called the Well Being series. The dark, large, three dimensional pieces are part of the groupings called Turbulence.

The colours in the Well Being series have been inspired by the colours used to describe the chakras. In Hinduism, there are physical focal points where psychic forces merge and interact and there are seven chakras, each associated with a colour among other things. Chakras work in dialogue and relationship with each other. It is a body/mind paradigm which is also the case in western psychology especially in the practice of cognitive therapy. The momentum of this movement of well being can be observed in bookstores and on television where it has almost become mainstream, yet seems still to evade so many of us.

The colours found in the Turbulence grouping are more ponderous and heavy. Thoughts, feelings and memories weigh upon us bringing us some measure of discomfort. Acknowledging our shadow side helps us to transform these denser feelings into new insights, that may bring us a more joyful, positive and harmonious dimension to our life.

The two distinct groups of weavings are united in their theme – giving visual expression to the wide range of human emotion and states, and this includes our shadow/dark/ side as well as our more pleasant emotions. The pleasant emotions, the Well Being series, are shown as bright and intense colours, simple in their composition and convey the lightness and buoyancy they bring to our spirit, body and energy. Our darker side/reflective side is represented by the pieces in the Turbulence group, and they incorporate black as the dominant colour, and also a three dimensional technical aspect. This dimension of ourselves is more complex, revealing insights if we the courage to face them, if we are receptive and willing to heed its message. Grappling with our inner uncertainties, fears and uncomfortable emotions in a way that honours them, can transform them and us. This is represented in some of my tapestries that are three dimensional which are also interactive and are able to be hung in different configurations.

It seems really appropriate that the opening for my exhibition Wholeness is taking place on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Who can forget that day? That terrifying day left all of us in shock, our sense of security forever shaken. Taking the time to create work that has been part of my healing journey, I hope my work will have positive transformative effects upon those that view them. I have another reason to feel that this is a good date as well. My nephew was born on that date. For him, and all others born on this day, is reason enough to go forward to make their life, their world a better one, and to not steal away their happiness because of our grief.

Exhibition: September 1 - 26 2011

Opening Reception: Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gibson Centre of Community, Arts and Culture

63 Tupper Street West

Alliston, Ontario

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