This week my painting partner, Renee Berthelette, and I mounted our first joint exhibition at First Live Studio in Brooklyn, as part of the their 30 days to Rock festival, for which we’ll be doing interviews about the work and a painting performance, in the coming two weeks.
Our series of 8 paintings, connected to the calm of the ocean and the cosmos, have been imbued with a frenetic energy due to everything Corona Virus related that we were unable to separate from the process of making art.
It’s funny to look back and see our other selves making these in February, in meditative states, late at night, chilling to our favourite moody dance songs (we’re both incredibly inspired by music and the atmosphere created informs our work immensely), dancing and painting as a release from the energy of city life.
Little did we know that this would be the least of the things we would want to escape from after 3 month holed up in our apartments, with our fears, panics, anxiety and paranoia’s circling us like demons in a pressure cooker of awful political theatrics, and images of dead bodies piling up around our home New York City.
As I write we’re in the 3rd week of protests for Black Lives Matter, one of truly amazing things to come out of this, of finally all colours of bodies saying it’s not acceptable for the police, that are supposed to serve all of us, killing black lives, and none of us will stand for it. It’s also been a moment of reckoning with white fragility, with those of us who have white privilege having to acknowledge we can no loner turn our eyes other way, having to recognize, and reconcile that, with family members across the country. Personally, I’ve had to reckon with the fact that I can no longer distance myself from being an American Citizen even though I oppose everything the federal government stands for; I also can’t say Britain had a better approach to slavery and it’s aftermath, after uncovering some horrific covered over truths in our own history.
We are, as a country and a planet, fully entrenched in difficult conversations that deal with unearthing the muck at the bottom of our collective oceans.
What started as a meditative, reflective and introspective pieces, became intensely so, with this backdrop. Mediation became escapism, reflecting became scrutiny to our own shortcomings, and introspection became the eye of the hurricane in this storm.
We had named the pieces before we completed them, and those names took on a life of their own, during these months.
https://www.aqueousisolations.com/ for more about process and artwork.
You can see us talk about it in an interview on 7/7 at 7pm for the opening of Territory, a virtual club and art gallery,
and we’ll also be doing a virtual painting performance, getting messy together on 7/12 at First Live’s 30 days to rock festival.
Tickets at eventbrite very shortly…