Doing research of artists currently on display at UMOCA. This is one of tasks given to me by my site supervisor, so that I may be prepared for my volunteer time on Saturday. One artist being exhibited right now is Andrea Jensen. I chose to look at her work before reading any statement to ascertain motive through experience rather than having it dictated to me. Her body of work is impressive.  The local artist has a consistent aesthetic, using soft tones, and washes with mixed media. In some works these soft value shifts are contrasted with abrupt collage usage for mark making. Her work is highly abstracted, but in some cases still very recognizable. Thematically she works consistently with human interaction with environment. Clouds and earth seem to run through many of her pieces. “In Spite of a Disturbed World”-is the title of a piece that struck a chord with me. I seem to be more fond of her earlier works. Her style has not changed dramatically in the last few years, but the objects depicted in her earlier works are slightly more recognizable. The one I just mentioned beautifully compares the softness of our atmosphere (again a common theme), with the tumultuous nature of our planets core beneath the surface. The staggering effect I feel is relayed with relatively few geometric forms, and yet the idea is more poignantly displayed than it could ever be if depicted with accuracy. Never did a cross section of the earth in science class effect me like that piece.  The titles for her work show a conscientious contemplation. Another work, titled “Curious Separation of the Planet from Those Who Occupy It” hearkens to a concept that I have been wrestling with for a few years now. The clarity of the Title allows for a looser visual description, which in turn opens up a more emotional connection between the viewer and work that is sometimes lost in highly representational art. Another piece, depicting an airplane is titled “Installment Plan of Cloud Seeders” and refers to a process that utilizes aircraft contrails to intentionally begin a cloud. This method is refereed to as Cloud Seeding, and can lead to rain in times of drought. There are several other interesting studies about the effects of aircraft on meteorology. 

I find her work very thought provoking. I  found her blog and have spent about the last 5 hours reading through that. This hits me more than the artwork. I read it in reverse chronological order. I can’t stop reading it. The loss and pain that she is going through. It feels like an echo. I pray it is not a reflection of my future. She lost her children. I am about to have my first. I pour over her entries, before and after the events, I empathize with her youthful gaiety and the transition from that into parenthood. I used to run to the forest to feel human again. I wrench my gut in the agonizing thoughts of the thoughtless debauchery that our economy is pushing on our world. Day in and day out I wrestle with it. I wonder what I believe in. Here we go, tread carefully because I am letting go now… No. I can’t do that. Not even here. I have to be so careful with whom I share my true beliefs. I typed a bunch out, but I couldn’t go through with it. I’d hate to hurt someone reading this. I find…what? Truth? Light? Joy? It’s hard to pin what it is, but I find it in curiosity. I find it in nature, in quiet. I find it when I am learning. I love the feeling of learning. I find my own truth. I use a lot of mediums to do it, books, experience, religions, physics, art. I see. I see like most people don’t see, and they don’t see, because they don’t want to, or they are afraid. I am afraid too, of deception, of false hope. Am I eternal? 

This winter needs to end. I thought I was going to die for a while. Thy lingering sickness, debt, incessant nagging of the IRS, the stress of parenthood, finances, the injustice of social disparity, trusting in a religion that is full of people that don’t believe anything remotely close to what I believe, and making a sham of what I believe to the masses, working 14 hours a day 6 days a week, looking like I am failing every were I go, because I have no time or energy to meet the demands. I cried on the hospital bed a few weeks ago, after turning inside out, puking my guts out for 12 hours straight. I didn’t cry because I felt like death was close, I cried because I am bringing a new life into the most unjust world I can imagine. I try to change things. I try to spark enlightenment in those that I talk with, privately, quietly, away from false authorities who hold down the complacent, but its not enough to change social economic injustice, to move away from environmental ignorance, sustainability. 

I push every day. I push as hard as I can. I exchange my life blood to survive, to work, to hope that someday I will teach, I will be happy in what I do. That I can foster unity and forsake the nightmarish world that I live in now. My demons are invisible, and they represent ideas that are well known and seldom addressed. What does the existence of an idea mean? Does it mean that there are laws that exist communally outside of the physical laws of nature? What is consciousness? What is liberty? I have felt freedom. I hope I am a good dad. I am giving a lot to this. I hope I don’t pass on prejudices, or cut inspiration off at the knees with my limited frame of understanding. 

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