Thursday, April 24, 2008
Artist Statement -draft 1
Starting where I left off.
The last two and a half years have been life altering for me. I was diagnosed with Acute Myelogeneous Leukemia at 33, at the end of my BFA. I received a life saving bone marrow donation from my brother and received the transplant July 6, 2006. That’s when life took the roughest turn.
I have been struggling to recover from my life saving procedures, as side effects from my transplant continue to surface. I need surgeries to fix what my new chronic conditions have caused. Recovery can be like tides in the ocean. Sometimes getting better requires several steps back to be able to continue forward.
Through these last two years I have struggled with my artistic process as well as my health. I have been physically unable to paint until just recently, so I turned to photography. My hands and body have been forced to begin to relearn the painting process. I struggle to take what is in my heart and lay it on canvas. I take nothing for granted. Every painting has its place in my history and my recovery.
This current group of paintings is the physical embodiment of my emotional experiences before and after my cancer diagnosis. Like an enigma, the year of illness before my diagnosis brought images of parachuters and warplanes to my canvases. The illness silently crept in, changing my artwork and spiraling out of control, then the planes appeared. The deep expanse of colour expresses emotions of chaos; light trying to make it through the darkness.
When I paint these skyscapes I am depicting a state of limbo, where there is peace but also an impending sense of danger.
I am now left, two years later, with the task of starting again. Despite my best efforts, my life is in a constant state of flux. I am a shape shifter morphing daily in body and spirit. Still waiting to be me, still waiting for healing, still waiting for a solid foundation. As of yet, there is no tangible ground for me, no peace other than the peace I create on canvas.