Happy New year

 

Detail, “Untitled”, Pastel on paper, 50″ x 38″
 

This rotation around the sun is nearing its end but the spiral continues. We can not forget that it continues–this is our hope. 

The artist Louise Bourgeois once said, “The spiral – I love the spiral – represents control and freedom.” As we spiral into the new year what is it that we are hiding or denying? What parts of us are we shamefully ignoring or bitterly destroying? This year I thought a lot about pain and attempted to let go of that pain. I discovered you can not let go of pain, it will always be there. So one must go deeper into understanding it instead. This is a sensitive space that must not be treated with more harshness and anger but instead with gentleness. This is not an easy thing to do as it requires one to be present and in flow with their various personas and concepts of the self, even the scariest of them.

It is so fitting that Louise Bourgeois’s love of spirals was revealed to her through her personal exploration of pain and anger, “It is a twist. As a child, after washing tapestries in the river, I would turn and twist and wring them. . . Later I would dream of my father’s mistress. I would do it in my dreams by wringing her neck. The spiral – I love the spiral – represents control and freedom.”  There she was, face to face with her own pain–exploring it and sharing the sentiment openly, not covered up with shame, not judged and beaten down with anger. The reality is that in relationship with anyone including with the self there is a push and a pull, and I am curious to know what makes up the push and pull. What propels the spiral and keeps it going?

The repetition is actually a gift, as it gives us the chance to observe ourselves overtime. Each time an emotion–anger, sadness, fear arches, it is the moment to get to understand them further. To take them by the hand, sit down with them, peer into their eyes and begin asking questions, gently and softly. Getting to know these parts of oneself is a way of getting to understand humanity. Yes, this too is a part of my pattern and way of reacting, just as I have seen it in others. Yes, I have this feeling and how have I been seduced by it? How does this control me? and, can I understand my friend, my enemy, my family, my neighbor by understanding these parts of the self? This honesty is how I want to go forward into the new year and I believe it is in this exploration of these truths and devotion to this practice that one develops their ability to open, and accept things–as it is. Not to ignore, hide or deny but to open, reveal and receive–I have an inkling that this is how we build the capacity to change.

Here’s to understanding the push and pulls of life!

Rego
Monet    Rodin

 

Trip to France

This fall I left my job of two years with American Prison Data Systems where I was responsible for creating and telling their visual story. Between the end of that job and taking on new gigs I took a vacation and traveled to Paris, France where I explored what the city had to offer. I was struck by the L’Orangerie Museum that housed Monet’s mural, “Water Lilies.” I thought I understood impressionism before this trip, but walking into the room and seeing the brush strokes close up and the shear size and ease at which this artist worked in–I could not help but relinquish my concepts related to this style of art and begin a new. and yes, I cried.Such a perfect time to visit this body of work that took decades to develop. Here I was with a change in my career standing in front of paint marks being taught that I know nothing compared to what is possible.

That day I also discovered Paula Rego whose retrospective hung in the basement exhibition space at the L’Orangerie. I have been attempting to bring the human form into my abstract pastel drawings and to combine my video storytelling and drawing further and here was someone working in realism but came from an abstract background, who favored pastel over oil painting and who was known for her work based on storybooks. A visual storyteller whose technique and use of subject matter I felt I needed to explore more. A similar experience echoed during my visit to the Rodin Museum. I was lucky to see the temporary exhibit of his drawings of the human form. The sketches reminded me that I need to be less precious about each drawing or video. That I need to create in the moment and explore my ideas fully, all of this work we do each day is leading to something else. Trust in that.

New Commitment

Blue Nude
Returning to New York I have committed myself to incorporate weekly figure drawing to hone my skill and develop my current body of work (pun intended).
 

We Are One

Video Release

Check out the video I filmed and edited in in collaboration with artist, Olek. While my drawings are taking more familiar forms, this piece was an opportunity to get more abstract in video.

See what Olek had to say…

Upcoming

Last year I had set and achieved the goal of exhibiting my drawings 8 times. This year I am expanding this goal to 10. To kick off the show announcements, I already know I was selected to participate and speak in Fall ’19 at the Heckscher Museum of Art located in Huntington, NY. Mark your calendars for November 14th.

With a continued commitment to making work with an intersectional feminist framework, my new video project consists of working with women arrested and currently in pretrial who have been given the opportunity participate in an alternative sentencing program. Hired by a group of federal court judges and pretrial officers in an effort promote decriminalization and reform efforts at other courthouses statewide and nationally.

Then in February, I fly to Antigua to develop another project working with a playwright and producer who I know from an activist network that have requested I use both my drawing and video skills to develop the visuals for the story. Follow my Instagram and keep an eye out for more info in the coming year.

Thank you for your support!

Rebecca

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