For the next two weeks, my recent artwork is exhibited in the windows of the Northlight Gallery in Stromness, Orkney. The work is my response to the political events and turmoil as I feel it here across the Atlantic.
Walking in Circles
On 27th October, 2020, seven days before the USA presidential election, I started walking around the Ring of Brodgar with a kind of “mantra” to support goodness to end the worst that was. The weather was brilliant, and I painted views in, on, and off the Ring in those seven days, finishing about ten small works, which will be featured in my 2022 calendar. November 3 results of the election seemed to promise good possibilities.
However, I knew that the great number of voters who lost their choice for president would be unhappy. I knew what had been awakened during the last four years. BUT, I was not aware that anyone I knew could be so driven or taken in by the real fake news on social media.
On 7 January, I discovered that I did know of people who were changed, upset, and believed that the election had been rigged. They were clearly misunderstanding definitions for words like socialism and communism and believing alternate reality posts about child sacrifice and more unspeakable actions. I saw the videos and posts of the insurrection of the US Capitol, and I was appalled. With the encouragement from Cary Welling, the curator of the Northlight Gallery, I began a body of work . As I listened to the live coverage of the impeachment trial in the USA Capitol building and formed my own view of the state of events, I planned one installation window, one painting to demonstrate “two sides to every story” and one of soft contemplation landscape (Orkney).
These artworks are my attempt to “explode” over the words my accuser posted to me and then to try to organize them in some way to visually express the blinded, veiled vision, the deafness and non-listening, that belongs to over 70 million Americans who cast the losing votes.
I contrast that anger and disappointed emotion with the serenity of the colours of the Orkney land, which soothe me like the words of Gandhi influenced Martin Luther King. “I have a dream…” and I too believe in goodness and yes, democracy.
It is pure coincidence that this exhibition is timed for when the USA celebrates both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. I am the second and third generation and fourth generation of Swedish, German, and Spanish heritage. I am an American born of European immigrants and pledged my allegiance to the flag with the classes of students I taught for over 35 years. I taught about tolerance, difference and common needs and the right for all to live peacefully. I taught about how to voice opinions about FACTS and how to check those facts. But something has happened and…
AND because I am here in a landscape of open sky, land and colour, and I am away from the constant barrage of the negativity in the USA, I can turn off the international news. I feel safe here to express myself in this way.
I can paint calm land with clouded sky and try to weave sense back into the explosion of confusion within the safety of Orkney. Thank you for looking. Please contact me to purchase. I accept sales worldwide with PayPal.