As a visual thinker, I have often imagined my life as a series of balancing acts. I teeter on the edge, attempting to find that resting place, that sublime spot of perfect balance. But the act is more of a juggling act, a process of keeping the balls in motion with one always in the air.

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Nora Tryon, Deep Balance, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 10 x 10 in. (photo: Gary Lowell).

Motion is implicit in the concept of balance. There is no still point, no stationary place where one can assume the balance is finalized. The definition of equilibrium is “a state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced.” Those opposing forces are not static, they can grow, shrink, soften, or evaporate. The balls can fly off into space or whack me in the face.

Balance is a process, and my life flows best when I acknowledge this. Seeking balance is a good thing if I allow for periods of imbalance.

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Nora Tryon, Watchful, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 10 x 10 in.

I work in two and three dimensions. Sometimes a piece is interactive and often collaborative. Balance is constantly being addressed in the physical doing of the work. Composition, materials, structure, weight, and communication all require levels of balance.

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Nora Tryon, Truth Trust Us, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 10 x 10 in. (photo: Gary Lowell).

As a visual artist, I work through ideas visually, so along with the physical demands of creating balance, the focus of my work or content of the artwork is often centered around seeking balance. Issues of equity and fairness, social and environmental justice arise, and I address them in my work. Personal balance and societal balance are intertwined. Emotional, physical, and spiritual factors are always in play. Contemplating these balancing acts helps me achieve a certain measure of equilibrium, to change perspective, to zoom out or zoom in and focus on the process, the act of achieving balance.

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Nora Tryon, Tower of Inequality (2 views), papier mâché, wood base, recycled materials, base: 12 x 18 in., sculpture: 44 x 24 x 24 in. (photo: Gary Lowell).

Tower of Inequality deals with matters of social and environmental justice and suggests how out of balance and fragile our structures are, demanding the most from those with the least resources to keep societies and the planet functioning.

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Nora Tryon, The Sky Is Falling, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 12 x 16 in.

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Nora Tryon, The Tipping Point, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 30 x 48 in. (photo: Gary Lowell).

The Sky is Falling is a recent attempt to find a way to process anxiety around the debt ceiling and our dysfunctional political process. The Tipping Point and many paintings of the movement of the oceans reflect my concerns for our global environment and the power struggles for ownership of the planet itself.

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Nora Tryon, Too Much to Lose, acrylic on board, 10 x 10 in. (photo: Gary Lowell).

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Nora Tryon, Submerging, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 (photo: Gary Lowell).

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Nora Tryon, In Motion, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 in. (photo: Gary Lowell).

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Nora Tryon, Encircled, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 16 x 20 in. (photo: Gary Lowell).

Despite the struggles, I am grateful for experiencing the flow of life, for the opportunity to find the joys in witnessing and participating in the dance.


Image at top: Nora Tryon, On the Ball, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 30 x 40 in., (photo: Gary Lowell).