An exhibit about grief and finding meaning in loss.
Caring for my loved one’s emotional well-being and supporting his physical decline was my highest priority, and I had been doing it for a few years.
Grief is a reflection of what we love and it’s all-encompassing. I was heartbroken and bereft. My escape to nature was severed. I didn’t leave my loft for a year. I felt lost, purposeless. I didn’t know who I was without him. The act of painting became a cathartic extension of my grief, an attempt to find meaning and a way forward.
Grief, a response to loss, doesn't diminish over time. After the acute stage, chronic grief permeates our breathing. To be still in the falling pain, we struggle. We attempt to live in a reality absent a loved one, a perennial search for purpose and meaning requiring movement. It’s immersive. And it manifests differently for everyone. Dissolution, in part, is motion, my practice in constructing meaning from loss.
I began creating the paintings for this exhibit long before my anticipated loss, changing the name and the storytelling of Dissolution's final form as the loss transpired. The works symbolize pieces of me in a storyline of love and pain. They are fragments of grief personified. Memories conflated from a life once lived, a life in dissolution.
It has been a challenge to articulate here what the art is expressing. I could not achieve this with oil paintings alone even. I've become an unexpected storyteller, of sorts. Experiential pieces will support the narrative of what (I think) this body of work is incapable of conveying. These additions assist in descending the viewer into melancholy, languishing there in a rain of grief.
The works symbolize pieces of me in a storyline of love and pain. They are fragments of grief personified. Memories conflated from a life once lived, a life in dissolution.
Contemplate a painting of lights languishing in the rain of grey. And follow the paper where the ashes walk in the dandelions of winter.
A figure is near the windowsill, collected by grass, waiting for an audience of one.
She ran calling your lovesong, on a flower of recognized faces, that belonged to otherwise memory.
I've also invited a guest artist, Ashley Folkner, working in mixed media, to enter into a conversation with me. Together, our works talk about grief through our own lived experiences.
The scenes are an attempt at conveying conflated memories (or emotional moments) from a previous lived experience juxtaposed with present day life.