one thousand strengths

While producing this body of work I was captivated by the idea of strength.  Not the weight-lifting-bench-pressing strength exhibited by surly men in vitamin ads; but the common daily strength that we look past much of the time. There is much in our lives that require not just action to do, but a measure of ourselves that is an uncomfortable strength – razor thin and seemingly weak. But when we take these small strands and entwine them they become something solid and powerful. Our words and actions, though small in themselves lend power to others even when we are unaware of their effects.

It is perhaps ironic that a week before the opening of this exhibition I was hospitalized with an emergency surgery and the tethers of the strength of those around me were tested.  I found myself and my family instantly surrounded, propped up, sometimes by people we barely knew. I was weak for many months and leaned on those whose very small actions made a huge impact in my day. The strength of a thousand fine filaments held me up on my road to recovery. I had started these paintings as an observer and admirer of this phenomenon, but ended as a grateful recipient.

One Thousand Strengths is a visual representation of these ideas. There are layers and forms supporting and balancing quietly from underneath. The paintings build on the wood, lines overlapping and interconnecting on different layers of wax so that they don’t actually touch, but they appear as if they do.  Every line is important, every color of value to the whole, sharing the weight of the image together.

These painting are my mapping of these thoughts and relationships. In them you will see the friends, families and perfect strangers that have overlapped, challenged, and upheld me when I needed.