OPENING RECEPTION Saturday, October 1st, 2022
1 – 4 PM
Artist Discussion with Gallery Director Ryan Green at 2 pm
My painting exhibit, entitled ‘Pivoting’, was initially inspired by a woman in Ukraine who had to flee her country due to the ongoing war there, and whose house was bombed. Before she left her home, she sat down at her white grand piano and played it. The music resonated throughout her bombed house. This gesture, to me, speaks of resilience: in the face of her dark and unwanted circumstances, the woman made a specific decision to fill her house with music before leaving it.
Perhaps what impresses me most about the story of the white piano is that in the face of something beyond the woman’s control, she decided to do an act within her control – she showed spirit.
Likewise, Frida Kahlo experienced a bus accident that changed the direction of her life, and yet she continually turned towards her art as a way of maintaining personal integrity. Her constant decisions to turn towards her painting – and to transcend her pain this way – has made her a symbol of resilience to many.
I am interested in the decisions people make in their lives – decisions that change directions and circumstances. But another question that the show poses is: What is resiliency?
In my own life, I have two main interests: gardening and painting. My goal as an artist is to stay connected to the organic qualities of the land: tilling soil, painting, and documenting the flow of time through a common reference. This aim is set against, what I perceive to be a broader trend in modern life, of disconnection from organic space in favour of virtual environments. My intention — through expressive engagement with the garden, and painterly observation/ documentation — is to invite viewers to engage organic process.
My garden changes daily through a combination of personal intervention and natural process. The garden represents the definition of resiliency for me; every year, the plants and flowers are covered in snow, and every spring, they return; in the fall, they recede and the cycle continues. From the Ukrainian woman choosing to play her piano and then leave her home and country, to the change between night and day, to the daily transformation of the garden, change of course is the most certain part of our world. But resilience is both a choice and a circumstance, and this is what is especially moving.
OPEN BY APPOINTMENT Tuesday – Friday: 10 am – 5:30 pm