A horrific and unnerving event for the world, 2020 will be forever etched in memory as the year of the Pandemic. We are seeing red. There is fear, and desperation, and heartache, and kindness, and global compassion.
There is a shift in consciousness in how we see other human beings, our country, the world. We are mere recipients of catastrophes beyond our control … what we thought we control is an illusion.
As the Pandemic began, a dark blanket went over everything. Life as I knew it stopped. I lost interest in using my colorful paints. I went for long walks in our woods gathering birch bark sheddings which I found exceptionally beautiful. As I flattened and peeled and looked at them, I found our global situation reflected in these shedding skins. It occurred to me that we, also, need to shed layers and skins to get to new growth which is sustainable for all. Some of the old shedding is inherent in the new way we piece things together.
Fellow painter Sarah Faragher commented recently on a painting of mine posted on Instagram, writing, “World on fire, play on.”
Though storm clouds that are moving/hovering above my musicians in the landscape can be seen as metaphor for the climate crisis or the COVID-19 pandemic, the paintings are a vehicle for finding positive symbols. Unencumbered musicians playing music in a beautiful setting are my alternative to the current news cycle. They play without an audience, which also means without anyone judging them. We have to find beauty in art, music, and the natural world even as storms build and waters rise.
“Stay at Home” brought me deeper into exploring new techniques, my photos, symbols and interest in the inner and outer worlds. Unknown/Invisible came from focusing on and contemplating 24/7 a photo of students blowing bubbles. Working intuitively/intellectually this painting gave birth, a personal message.
The wood that lies before me and how I imagine its potential if married with other pieces is my work. On a given day my perspective may be different from the day before. This is an assemblage focusing on the human form. There are a myriad of sources that entertain and maintain the interest of the viewer as do the stories of acquisition. Use of pigment is sparing to prevent its domination of the overall impression.
Image at top: Lesia Sochor, Repair, wax sticks and gouache, 10 x 11 in., 2020.