"Life Wants To Live Itself; The Painting Wants To Paint Itself.” – Billy Childish
Painting expands my world and enables me to engage with my surroundings on deeper, more meaningful, levels. Through painting, I gain greater insight into myself. I learn, through painting, about my concerns, prejudices and individual identity. Transforming the process of my personal growth and expanding self-awareness into art enables me to share this enriching experience with others. The act of making art is, for me, a way to show love and develop connections with my audience. It grounds me within myself and connects me to others.
Art has always been part of my being. As a child, I covered my bedroom walls with sweet wrappers and my sisters’ colourful sanitary pad packaging. I loved anything that had information and text. I was drawn to anything that showed life and implied secrets. Although other people saw this ephemera as trash, I felt connected with these two-dimensional, paper, pieces of life. Art classes were my favourite time in school because I always derived great satisfaction and a sense of equilibrium and emersion making art.
When I began my adult work as a painter, I was primarily interested in exploring a painting’s relationship with the spaces surrounding it. I was aspired to challenge painting’s conventions by avoiding traditionally mounted and stretched canvases and painting on canvases directly affixed to walls. I wanted to create a second skin for the wall. During This Period In My Painterly Development, I Was Concerned That I Was Disconnected From My Body. Intuitively, I Knew That I Needed To Nurture The Power Within My Body. I Was Aware That I Could Not Paint Meaningful And Profound Images Until I Reconnected Myself With My Bodily Truth. Therefore, To Become A Richer Painter, I Started To Dance. My Painting Become Increasing Abstract And Grand When I Was Dancing. I Focused On Images Of Architecture And I Completely Covered Walls With Interior Graffiti.
Gradually, However, I Grew Less Captivated By Materials And More Interested In Conveying Narratives And Motion With My Paintings. I Continued To Paint On Unconventional Mediums – Such As Newspaper And Rolls Of White Paper Instead Of Canvas- And I Became Inspired By A Form Of “Hollywood Expressionism.” This Term Articulates My Belief That Our Relationships With Our Natural Bodies Are Mired In Prejudices Generated By Images Derived From Advertising, Film And Magazines.
To Me, “Hollywood Expressionism,” Was A Form Of Folk Music. This Method Enabled Me To Examine Myself, My “Victim Persona,” My Feminine Identity And My “Love Stories.” I Became Aware That I Needed To Surrender A Part Of Myself And Liberate Myself From Shame. In My Artwork, I Painted My Notions Of Being A Female Artist, Acting Like A Man And Being Abandoned By A Lover For A “Hollywood Heroine” (Or Heroin). The Theme Running Through My Work During This Period Was A Celebration Of Strong Women Who Are Intellectuals, Creative, Beautiful And Free. I Illustrated These Interests By Painting Posed Hollywood Couples. I Aspired, Though This Work, To Empathize With The Human Fragility Underneath Hollywood’s Glitz. Compared With Movie Stars, I Feel Small But I Am Energized By The Idea Of An Artist Struggling Unsung In A Studio – So I Often Painted Myself, As A Painter, Within My Idolized Images Of Vibrant Celebrity Couples. Hollywood’s Archetypes - Such As The Cowboy, Strong Female Role, Married Couple, Damsel In Distress, Alpha Male And Famous Couple – Are Contrasted With My Self-Portraits As An Asexual, Blank Faced, Isolated Artist. Yet, By Observing And Documenting Celebrities, I Empower Myself.
By depicting celebrities, I no longer feared them. Painting my “Hollywood Expressionism” series enabled me to drop back into my body and feel connected to humanity. This process instilled in me, a childlike, carefree love of the everyday. My series "Bdoies/BOdies/boDIES" expanded out of this love. In these large-scale works, I began to embrace the human body. I grew to love flesh. I represented bodies dancing and swimming to show the miracle of life and my admiration for how our bodies are vessels for love, wonder and experience.
Throughout my journey as a painter, I have grown to understanding that painting has an almost spiritual power to heal. My paintings are a reflection of how I feel. When I feel disconnected then my paintings are disconnected but when I feel connected, my paintings are harmonious.
I am inspired by what I see and experience. The spaces between people, objects and peoples’ lives captivate me. I am interested in peoples conversations, struggles and tensions. All of my art tells personal narratives inspired by my experiences. I always ask myself “is this true?” when I examined my finished artworks. I only stop when I believe my results are honest.
Ultimately, I embrace my child-like desire for moments of shameless enthusiasm and joyful mania. When I make art, I always push myself to go deeper and become less fearful. Art is a constant and life-renewing process of evolution and growth. My ambitions are timeless: I want to bring joy, excitement and love to the world.