Tuesday, November 21, 2017

11-21-17

I've been thinking about my materials, specifically my Adam Series which was created a few years ago.  Twenty-five pieces: five - 30"x40"x1.5", 5 - 36"x6"x1.5", 15 - 8"x8"x1.5".  These works absractly expressed the moment of the creation of humankind. I symbolized this creation with five colors that typified human skin: brown, black, red, yellow, and pink/peach (shown in the pictures).






I painted the pieces with encaustic (bees wax, damar, and pigment) and dirt.  The dirt represented the earth from which God used to form us in His image.  I tried to match the dirt with the pigment to create a unity within the pieces but found that some dirt needed to contrast the hues so some of the works have darker dirt within them.  The paint created the unity within the dirt so the pieces harmonized color-wise. 
The work was created using the skin tones on the bottom of the boards while white was used at the top to represent God.  The blending of the tones where the colors met symbolized the union of God and humankind when God was in the process of creation.

These works were on exhibit at Grace College in 2016 and I had the pleasure of engaging students in a discussion of the work.  One student brought up an interesting perspective on the exhibit which caused me to rethink the work.  A student of color, she asked why I used white to represent God; to her, it exemplified white supremacy.  That perspective never even entered my mind but listening to her made me realize that her perspective on the work was valid.  I had to rethink my choices with this series for that was never the intent of the work.  To me, as the creator of the work, the choice of white represented the purity of God and heaven but as a person of color, I could see, very easily, how she could view the series as she did.  As a white artist, my privledge as white was revealed in the work.  I needed to be more sensitive with my color choices. 

That brought me to a place of realization that I had neglected a color choice that was more consistant with my oeuvre - gold had typically been my color to represent heaven and God.  The purity of gold, refined by fire, has been, historically, the symbol of heaven.  I need to revisit my series and create works that reflect that symbolism.  So, I will embark on recreating the series, maybe not as many pieces, but I will create a series that echoes that visual language. 

That excites me for to revisit a complete series allows a new and fresh expression.  I doubt that the work will look anything like the original paintings.  I look forward to seeing what transpires with the work.  I will definitely post the pieces when finished. 

I am grateful to that student for bringing this to my attention. and look forward to the new creative endeavor.  Until next time, take care, enjoy, and God bless. 

No comments:

Post a Comment