abyss confrontations

artist statement

Abyss Confrontations

Fear of change and uncertainty can cause a person to stay in adverse situations for far too long, allowing them to tolerate the unacceptable while they attempt to find some semblance of control to help alleviate anxiety and chaos. This is due to nervous system responses searching for a way to protect the person through any means necessary, and to shore up missing components of safety, acceptance, and predictability. But what can happen when, instead of the person allowing themselves to remain frozen in unhealthy familiarity, what isn’t working is faced, and the decision to step into the unknown is made anyway, even if nothing can be seen up ahead? What can the person find there?

The recent past brought a great deal of change and uncertainty for me due to an adverse situation, and I found I could not make my art the way I used to. Much of my prior work was well thought out and carefully planned drawings or paintings with figures where I completely controlled the outcome. In order to continue making art, I decided that much like life at the time, what I needed to do to move forward was let go of what I knew, and face the uncertain outcome.

This current work is a physical representation of the internal struggle to leave what is known, face fear and uncertainty, walk into uncharted territory with no sense of the outcome, and see what can be found there. The unfamiliar and unpredictable process of painting the canvas background, putting pieces on, painting around them, pulling pieces off, then fitting them back on in a way that hopefully forms a cohesive whole is reminiscent of the hope that, though it may not be visible initially, maybe something positive can be achieved by facing and walking into the unknown.