2016 has been a tough, busy year in many ways. Thyroiditis/surgery, supporting the kiddo as she applied for college during a tough academic year, and realizing I can't do it all. I stepped away from a studio outside my home and stopped making art for a while. But I didn't stop thinking about art.
I kept thinking about a concept that has fascinated me for nearly 3 decades: taking painting 3-D. So in the months when nothing was created by my hands, I was channelling Elizabeth Murray and Anselm Kiefer. I was manipulating rope and chain and twine in my head. Tying up loose ends. Packaging desires. Holding in secrets. Teasing viewers with the tension of not being able to unwrap parcels on display that were bursting with something.
Just like the surgeon who discovered a surprise goiter in my chest cavity during my neck operation, I am following the threads, like he followed the blood supply to a fist-sized surprise that had been making me cough for 6 months. But even after following the trail, a secret remains. Viewers will have to unravel the secrets on display for themselves: pretty, smudged-up bundles floating on the wall, or cushioned rocks on a pedestal.
I hope you come see the new direction at Artists & Makers Studios I in Rockville, Maryland in April 2017. The show is called Discreet Objects, with the word discreet for me meaning "restrained" or "careful in speech as to avoid causing offense." In this era of constant communications, I'm more concerned with what we hold back. I want to both obscure and reveal meaning by presenting nuance and subtext wrapped over foam, tied down, or held together with rope, twine, or wire. I am trying to keep emotion contained, for your safety of course.