Outer landscape- Nostalgia / outdoor installation
What is important now is to recover our senses. We must learn to see more, to hear more, to feelmore. (Sontag, 2009:14)
”To live means to leave traces” walter benjamin
The creative explorations and artworks in the stony coastal area of the South coast of Norway are reflections of my nostalgia and identity. Having grown up in the US but visiting Norway each summer, the space provided an unequivocal sense of freedom as I played alongside its rugged terrain, creating my own imaginary worlds from early childhood to the present. As a consequence of a life-altering accident as a young child, I have continued to meditate on this same area for years, developing a close, personal, intimate dialogue through the installations and drawings. This vulnerable space is both ever-changing and timeless, and existing as part of the general public space, along with forests and mountains.
My artistic process reflects upon meaningful liminal spaces that exist between nostalgia and identity. In creating works of art, I bring together dialogues of objects, such as found stones and driftwood, and explore structures and charcoal lines that emerge as a shared experience, pulsating poetically and rhythmically as I draw or build. This process speaks to my perceptual and emotional world, revealing emotional landscapes of inner and outer spaces.Opening up my senses to capture the nuances of a transforming space. When I close my eyes, the colors of the stones come alive, resonating with each other, looking outward to the sea, or inward towards me. Through this creative space, I explore the relationship between the senses and subliminal experience.
The notion of dialog as a medium for engaging with art and the environment is a compelling one. As Barthes argued, the reader cannot fully understand the intentions of the author; rather, the text - and similarly, our dialogs - constructs a multi-dimensional space with a range of potential, subjective interpretations. By examining liminal spaces, I am drawn in to consider the relationship between myself and the past, as well as how this space can be shared with others as a point of connection and exploration. This journey is dynamic and ever-evolving, and in this way, an artwork or dialog may be experienced differently from reader to reader, providing a multifaceted experience without an ultimate, singular meaning.
By engaging with nature, I uncover an inner dialogue composed of forms, shapes and colors that captures a true moment in time. Whether it is through drawing, installation, or other mediums, this language is both transparent and radiant. The silence that accompanies this experience is not emptiness, but rather an opportunity to access deeper layers, as if it is resonating and echoing the past while simultaneously radiating the ever-evolving possibilities of a new dialogue. By constructing driftwood and stone installations, painting them, and drawing, I am deciphering a language that is beyond the definiteness of verbal or written expression.
As I communicate with nature, a language of existence emerges. Its abstract forms provide a visible reminder of its meaning beyond the definiteness of language or the visible. I find myself fascinated by the beauty of this exchange with nature and find an urgency in its abstractness. Through the act of building driftwood and stone installations and painting them, I have explored the notion of home as both a place and a state of the spirit that lies beyond the limitations of language and human comprehension. This process has opened up an inner spiritual sensing of home, a space that is in-between what I have read and written before. It is a continuous philosophical investigation into the meaning of home as I examine the communication between nature and myself.
We exist in an environment of chaos and growing climate crisis, where the idea of home is increasingly unstable and temporary. But if we can identify ourselves with nature – if we can acknowledge that we can exist both internally and externally – then perhaps we can find solace in being able to exist with nature, even in times of crisis.
In times of such environmental catastrophe, it is important to understand the repercussions of our actions, and how our polluting of our environment affects the idea of home. The driftwood installations use colors to signal how our relationship to earth is changing and how we move through space and time. By relying on natural resources to make these installations, they evoke the idea of an external home – one that is vulnerable to the changing environment. The installations, then, are not only a physical representation of "home" but also a visual representation of a relationship with nature and the world around.