Helen Day

My latest work is currently installed along side the work of Denis Versweyveld, at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe, Vermont. Above is a studio shot from August of some of the paintings in process. The opening reception is on Friday the 21st of September at 6:00pm. I will also be giving an artists talk in the gallery on October 25th at 6:00pm. I recently just wrote a statement about the show, which I’m including here. Hope to see you there!

This most recent body of work stems from the idea that belief shifts and changes over our life times; that who we are, or how we identify with our existence, is not concrete.

In 2011, I was making paintings that referenced the heaviness and mass of the body (see Skirting). Paint became a metaphor for an accumulation of experience through living. Due to this accumulation, the body became obscured, abstracted, and weighed down. Experience resulted in struggle or burden, which metaphorically held the figures down.

After completing those paintings, I began to reexamine the idea of life as a series of compounding, burdensome experiences. Positive experience is obviously also a part of our lives.

In March of 2012, I had the opportunity to visit Madrid, Spain, where I spent a lot of time in the Prado drawing from and looking at religious old master paintings. I began to think about these art objects, imbued with meaning through the mythical stories of religion, and how contemporary culture looks less towards religion and over-arching ideologies, and more towards the individual to create his/her own belief systems. Essentially, there is no unifying belief for people to attach themselves to in contemporary society, and so we are left to believe in things, and make decisions based on our own experiences.

I think of myself as a physical thing having ephemeral experiences, and perhaps this tension is a source of some of our human struggles. Even though the inability to fully capture experience can feel burdensome, it also gives us a will to live and a desire to experience more.

This new work is an attempt at painting the ephemeral experience. Not to capture it, but to paint it as it is– a fleeting, un-graspable thing; to “paint invisibly.” It is also an examination of how we create things for ourselves to believe in, but how those things are only as permanent as our ability to believe in them.

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One Response to Helen Day

  1. Pingback: Artist Talk at the Helen Day Art Center | paint the painting

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