This is a post I forgot to post in February! The show has become one of my personally most important of what I have done, and so I am offering the post now despite the date.
Responses to the show:
I had middle and high schoolers at the gallery last Friday evening, and they talked about the fragility of sanctuary, and how the only true sanctuary is in the heart. (Oh, Children). Another student, from PNCA and on a different day, took note of my "interesting use of idolatry" at one point. I have to admit that caught me by surprise, and the ensuing discussion was super interesting and great. Love students!
This last Saturday, a woman started crying when she reached the chairs ("Playtime"). She has a 14 year old son she is trying to keep in school and wonders how she can keep working on this when schools are no longer sanctuaries for children.
Several other people also found "Playtime" most disturbing. One person noted that in his tradition a rock would symbolize returning to the earth. Another said that in her Jewish tradition a rock was placed on a grave for remembrance. Another said it was hard not to think of the rocks as weapons given the shell casings of the other two pieces.
"Empty Shells" has been one of the most engaging for people I have talked with. Many also like looking through the speakeasy door in "Narrow Door," like the embroidery a great deal and have a hard time with the nimbus. I feel in good company, as the piece keeps going in and out of focus for me at many levels, and the metaphors have become increasingly nuanced.
The theme of sanctuary is timely, evocative and provocative. It has become it's own exhibit; while I am the artist, the exhibit has it's own life and identity. I hope you can come and experience it.
Note: When I began these works, the school shooting in Spokane, WA, had just taken place The day I went out on the shooting range for a lesson on gun safety and shooting (I needed the experience to do the show), Las Vegas had just occurred. When the show was up, the Parkland shooting happened. It was all far more timely than I had anticipated. The show seemed to give many people a way to dare encompass their thoughts and emotions, and to find ways to take these things to heart and somehow find healing. Again, an honor, in an unexpected way, to have offered this exhibit.