Skeleton Woman: Embracing the Unknown Allows For Surprises
MFA Thesis exhibition Skeleton Woman: Embracing the Unknown Allows for Surprises was a temporary installation that explored a chaotic, whimsical and intuitive visual language. The theme Skeleton Woman, refers to an allegorical folk tale concerning the Life/Death/Life cycle and the transcendence of fear into love through compassion. I used assemblage, mural painting and drawing to explore the polarization of beauty and non beauty. I allowed myself to explore a process of accepting dysfunction. The chaotic display of objects, drawings, lines and textures gave way to an underlying, rhythmic order. I intended to express personal struggle and transcendence through my own visual and material sensibilities and I allowed the viewer to be completely immersed in that process by transforming the whole gallery space. This was a dimly lit show which references the fisherman's home in the tale of Skeleton Woman. After the fisherman unexpectedly reels in a woman's skeleton from her watery grave he is so terrified he forgets to cut his line and makes a run for the shore. He makes it home thinking he has escaped his death only to find the Skeleton Woman was still attached to his line and has followed him into his igloo. He lights his lamp to find her features softened. In this light he has compassion on her an begins to reconstruct her skeleton and eventually restores her to her human self. This work revealed a sensation of utter solitude, the attentive viewer was left to reconcile an onslaught of absurd formal and material relationships. Drawings are rolled rather than presented flattened, paintings made of clothing hung off a board and papers are crumpled and left in the sand. Everything seems to be turned on it's head and somewhat undone and this is quite intentional. Two months prior to graduate school I suffered a major concussion and neck injury while hanging upside down. All of my graduate work reverberated with the aftershock of that physical impact and subsequent recovery process.