Painting > In the Eye of the Storm

In The Eye of the Storm was a 2016 solo show at Ghost Gallery featuring a series of gouache paintings and papercuts exploring the idea of sanctuary and reprieve even within the heart of a collapse. I took a three-year hiatus from showing paintings and spent a good portion of that deliberate sabbatical up in Alaska watching the colors change across the tundra while thinking about the tension between culture and wildness. Some part of me went (happily) feral, and I have spent much of the past few years feeling tugged between the irreconcilable worlds of the city and the wild.

In the Eye of the Storm investigates this sense of impossible longing, and is also informed by two pockets of personal loss: while in Alaska this past summer, a close friend drowned in a backpacking accident, and the sinuous forms of these paintings trace the braided rivers and alluvial fans of the landscape that claimed my friend's life. The second loss was of my own body: almost a year ago, something went wrong in my back, and I transitioned from being someone who bicycled alone across continents to someone who could not pick up five library books and walk to return them. The experience of chronic pain collapsed the life that I had been building and changed everything about how I move through the world. Slowly—and recently—my body has started to mend; these pieces are a part of that recovery.

How do we survive as we are being washed away? How do we still trust in our strength even as our bodies are failing us? How do we find grace within ceaseless pain? We learn to lean in to the moment of peace; we learn to live within the eye of the storm.