Up close and personal
with our Self Love artists
Give yourself a Valentine this February. Practice "self love," defined as caring about oneself and taking responsibility for oneself.
Monica Kennedy, Irene Reece, Elle Cox, Samiria Percival, Bert Bertonaschi, Fulden Sara Wissinger, Rebecca Baffour, Melba Lee, Lauren Cross and LaTonia Allen, the ten artists in our current exhibition, did.
Here are statements from five of the artists (more in later issues) who mined their struggles with illness, unemployment, loneliness, disappointment and/or self-esteem to express these emotions with their art.
, who was diagnosed with a tumor on her pituitary gland at age 20, chronicled her experience of the pain, the fear, the alteration to her life, the extensive treatment and the eventual announcement that she was tumor free with a time-lapse video and a journal of the struggle.
ED Michelle Barnes, left, admires Melba Lee's three exhibit collages.
discovered the limitless possibilities of handmade paper after a period of unemployment. For over 15 years, she has created, through her art, many women, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters and friends. "Each new work is a different image with its own voice," she explained. "I am in awe that personality can come from pieces of paper. My work has enabled me to connect with other women who have the passion to express themselves and share a piece of themselves with the world."
Wissinger's "Turkish Tortillas" and "Cappodocia" earthernware pieces.
Fulden Sara Wissinger
found herself gravitating to clay. For her, clay most directly captures fluid energy while requiring patient methodical manipulation. Her pieces mix elements from past experience. Ten years of graphic design background tends to produce focus on crisp geometry, which mingles with the Arabesque fluidity of "Turkish Calligraphy/Arabic Calligraphy" and her mixed heritage Balkan and Turkmen roots.
HSPVA student Elle Cox discusses her video "Hoodoo Cleansing"
and "And It Is Hard to Change" digital prints.
describes "Hoodoo Cleansing" as "a rebirth of myself and a cleansing of the negative energy that arises around the Black community. My photo piece is a representation of the objectivity against Black women and the battle between violence and sensuality, the oppressor and the oppressed, demanding change and remaining stagnant. Both of these were created by falling back in love with myself and the Black community, whilst searching for a common voice within us all. Using myself as the subject, I found that voice to create pieces that insisted on change."
Monica Kennedy, center, explains the making of her three digital prints,
"Disconnected," "Renounce" and "Expectant."
artwork takes the viewer from one emotion to another as they experience the work. "My process is really driven by my want to create and express myself; I am often influenced by the media and my past life experiences."
(Next month: LaTonia Allen, Rebecca Baffour, Bert Bertonaschi, Lauren Cross and Samiria Percival)
The exhibition continues through April 29.