Artist Statement, JUNE 2022 👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻👻
Seven years ago my dear friend Ruth died and soon after, my mom Suzann died suddenly. It took a long time to want to start painting again, but when I did, the only thing I wanted to paint was ghosts and spirits. I wanted to try and visually articulate, and make possible, spaces where the dead move alongside us. Or, if I wasn’t painting ghosts, I wanted to paint flowers, but neon- to keep us awake. The blooming sitting alongside the dead and the dying.
The spirit & ghost figures have changed over the years. I like how they aren’t solid, there isn’t just one way I’ve drawn them, not just one way to imagine them, I like that we have no idea what they might look like. I like the questions, the unknown of it, the making it up. Sometimes the ghosts are made up of stars or checkers, a swan or a butterfly, most recently– the classic, goofy sheet-over-a-body ghost. Drawing spirits was a helpful part of me working through my grief. To make visible the invisible, to add weight, bulk and a visual dimension to what I couldn’t make sense of. I think it felt less overwhelming if I could see it, less scary if I could paint it, my own kind of haunting.
This show is me working through the pain of the grief that followed these two significant deaths as well as the beauty I find possible in the idea of multiple dimensions. These paintings also hold many classic symbols of transformation. For what is death other than a transformation, a shift, a glitch, a change, a turning.