An event every day that begins at 9:00am, repeating until November 29, 2022
For each new piece the artist slides seamlessly through time to brave one of the three defining questions of sentience: Who are we? Why are we here? Where are we going?
Each query defines the artist’s worldview for that piece:
Who are we? looks to the past, How did we come to be?
Why are we here? looks to the present, What is our mission in life?
Where are we going? looks to the future, Can we better know ourselves by imagining the effects we will have on others, on our universe?
Near the end of 2019, just as whispers of a new flu floated to us from the Far East, I completed my Mandala-ish set which, in its layers of colored concentration and whimsy and invented symbols, wondered what was coming and whether its impermanence would be impactful or soon forgotten — Where are we going? — a set that was scheduled for what would be my first PNW solo show, a 2020 Summer installation at the Bainbridge Performing Arts Center, but… those Far Eastern whispers became an in-your-face cough, and my Mandala-ish set would remain veiled (until now), impermanent to others but very much present to whatever I would do next.
So, in 2020, in the unspeakable, unpaintable frustration of the COVID moment, blank canvas summoned me with furious intent. Intent to paint, intent to create, intent to find answers to the question Why? Why is this happening? Indeed, Is Nature finally fighting back to save the Earth… from us? And, How do we answer this challenge unless we finally know Who We Are?
My response? My worldview shifted backwards, to the past, for what would become the beating heart, the molten core, of this show, Origin Stories.
Seven paintings, acrylic on canvas (40″ x 40″ square), created between early 2020 and Fall 2022, each presupposing that everyone has an answer for How did we come to be?, whether that answer comes hard or blind through spirituality or science or unencumbered acceptance.
And all I ask of you is what I asked of myself when the paintbrush was in hand — take nothing for granted, wonder Why?, harumph How?, try to learn quickly all the pasts that explain us so we can survive now by choice rather than default, and best invent the way ahead.
Please plunge headlong into my Origin Stories, Our Origin Stories, our Origins, with inspiration from a variety of broad-minded cultures and visually-narrative mythologies and awesome science that relentlessly discovers things it does not understand and imagines things it cannot discover. But acknowledge that, no matter the flailing and the fury, there are true truths (with no alternates); because here we all are, asking what they are. And, in the end we have our anecdotes and our observations and our art and our faith.
Our Origin Stories begin with Changing Woman “Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé” inspired by the learnings of the Navajo People, set out in their vast Creation Story Diné Bahane’, but applicable to every creature that comes with a soul. This is spirituality and myth and legend, and wisdom, a piece of the mosaic which forms a complete answer to How did we come to be? For this piece I am singing out loud the inspiration — spoiler alert! — so you can look for the trail markers and totems and sacred vows, as I certainly believe that all good stories are best told beginning with the end. (Otherwise you have to experience them twice just to appreciate them once!)
The other pieces in this show come with less verbal direction from the artist — as I leave it for you to find in them what comes from yourself, and to find more and different each time you look.
Please enjoy Origin Stories and the Mandala-ish set (I hope!).