Creating a new body of work is a bit like bringing a child into the world. You think about the possibilities, what you need to accommodate it and finally are you ready to take it on. You've seen this series take shape in my previous post and on my Instagram feed if you are following me.
While it expresses my love of pattern and the order that pattern brings to chaos, for me it is about finding my way back to good health. So I hearby dub this series Patterns of Healing as a direct opposition to the atypical patterns doctor seek to determine an illness. I am seeking the beautiful. I seek a way back to life and fully living. It's the diffference between surviving and thriving.
Have you seen this tv series? It's the closest I've seen to what I've experienced. The living for years with a life sentence and then suddenly being told you are cured. The joy! The humor! The fear! The guilt!
The cancer I had at 7 was stage 4 and I was given 3-6 months to live. Once I made it through 2 years of chemotherapy, I was tested and watched for another 9 years when at 18, I opted out of the study with the caution that I'd never have children and would probably get cancer again. Thanks fellas! I appreciate it. I circumvented the no children bit by adopting and went about my merry way to living without giving it a further thought until 2014 when I experienced the holy trifecta of illnesses in one year, a stroke followed by heart failure followed by cancer and I merrily toasted in 2015 with no clue as to what I was facing. I had to relearn how to live. I couldn't work or function in the same way. Then there was the survivor guilt. Yes, it’s real. How come I get to survive when so many others have died? A few other survivors and I have talked about this subject and we all have different ways of coping. Mine is to just keep moving forward and make art that is as raw and as honest as I can. And then there is my daily gratitude. Seeing a new morning is truly a miracle, I toast it with coffee and some journal writing and a dog walk if weather permits.
Patterns of Healing are a visual metaphor for looking for the rainbow after the storm.
Plaque is what I imagine it looks like if I were to look down my arteries and see the plaque building up along the walls with the red and white blood cells floating through, kinda like looking down a sewer opening. Anyway, I am trying to look at my body from different perspectives, real and imagined while exploring how the eye reads color and takes in light. To make the Red Cells look dimpled I used two different sequins, same red but with different reflections. On is cupped and the other is flat. I couldn't tell if it worked until I went Milwaukee to have my art photographed by the incredible Larry Sanders. He always points to things I don't always see. I’ve always prided myself on my color sensibility, but Larry’s eyes for color but me to shame. Plus I learn how color is affected by updates in technology. Who knew?!
Patterns of Healing tends to take on Pop cultural references as I work. I imagine the alarm being sounded when a virus enters my system. The Storm Troopers are sent out to protect. Can’t you just hear it?
With each of these pieces no larger than 8 x 10 inches, I am able to quickly work through ideas, almost like an embroidered sketchbook.