Sunday, December 1, 2013

Writing About Your Art

Yellow 60x72"  Oil/cold wax on canvas © 2013 Janice Mason Steeves

White 60x72"  Oil/cold wax on canvas © 2013 Janice Mason Steeves

Orange 60x72"  Oil/cold wax on canvas © 2013 Janice Mason Steeves

Blue 60x72"  Oil/cold wax on canvas © 2013 Janice Mason Steeves

Installation shot at the Burlington Art Centre

My exhibition, In Search of Balance at the Burlington Art Centre in Burlington, Ontario, opened on Sunday, November 24th.

In preparation, I needed to have some discussions about my work with the curator, Denis Longchamps, and to rewrite my artist's statement.  An exhibition in a public gallery is such a gift. Not only is it hung so beautifully, but the conversations with the curator and the preparation time, allow an opening into deeper consideration of the work and the long journey that led here.  I've taken the time in preparation, to think about where my work has come from, what truly is important to me, and how I am expressing that.

It's such a difficult task for artists to write about our work in a way that uses language that everyone can understand because it involves trying to clearly understand ourselves and what our art is teaching us.  I have been reading an amazing book called Presence by Senge, Scharmer, Jaworski and Flowers.
Written to teach about creative leadership in business, this incredible book can be translated into any field of endeavour, including art.  The authors reference traditional wisdom but in ways that help us see it anew.  They speak about the importance of developing ourselves as individuals through meditation and self-awareness, and they agree with wisdom traditions, that this individual inner path of development through the heart, will be the necessary journey for the transformation of the earth.

This series of paintings in my exhibition,  took me on my own inner journey.  The work came through the wisdom of my hands, without at first, engaging my mind. It just came. I didn't know what it was about at first. As Baggar Vance (in the movie of the same name) tells his anxious golf student, " Don't think about it, feel it.  The wisdom in your hands is greater than the wisdom of your head will ever be."

 In Search of Balance,  is about fragility, memory, friendship and also strength. The American artist Jim Dine says,"What you do is your comment on the human condition and being part of it.  There is nothing else."

My artist's talk will take place Wednesday, December 4th at 7pm at the Burlington Art Centre
1333 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON.  Everyone is welcome.

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