I feel great about this new scupture. It was a probem: I made a double sided painted relief scupture in my “Epiphany” series and I couldn’t figure out how to display it. Then I remembered my domestic tornado series and the epiphany is now dangling beautifully from a twister that is piercing through my ceiling. This feels completely appropriate. The domestic tornado is made from my clothing, ripped and re-pieced and covered with embroidered pleas to God for help. It was done a few years ago when my personal world was torn apart. (more here) Now that our poor world is coming apart at the seams, my tornados have a larger purpose–or at least they describe a larger thing. So now this pleading twister carries with it one of my “Epiphanies”– work that I see as a messenger of hope; a small point of light in a dark sky.
Tomorrow (Sunday June 7) is my opening for “The Tornado that Turned into a Cat.” Oshawa McLaughlin Gallery, 12-4, downstairs in Gallery A. Today I try to figure out what to say in my talk. It will probably consist of what I have written in the last few weeks in this blog. I have put a lot of effort into this show and I admit some trepidation. Please join me tomorrow. My talk is scheduled for 1:30 but it can be avoided if you just want to come to the opening. (Give yourself a little extra time to skirt around Oshawa road closures). The show continues to June 21st. Don’t miss it!
Well, tomorrow I start setting up my show called “The Tornado that Turned into a Cat” in Gallery A in the root cellar of the McLaughlin Gallery. The show follows the evolution of the metaphor as I have tried to explain in the three previous blog entries. Here is an invitation:
This is a gallery within a gallery: an artist initiated gallery within the larger public gallery. Any sales go directly through the artists and are not handled by the gallery so please contact me at LynneMcilvride@icloud.com if you have any questions.
If I get my act together (I am VERY tired), I will take a few pictures of the installation. More importantly, I will post a price list online as a blog entry and leave the URL at the gallery. There will be price lists there too but people accidentally take them.
I hope you will come. I am excited about the show. There are a few loose ends. There is a short looped movie my brother and I did. I would like to incorporate that into the show but am not sure how. There will also be a kind of a book that is a cross between a catalogue and a collaged artist’s book. I haven’t really done that yet. Good night.
Who am I and how did I get here? I have asked myself that question many times in the last two years. My name is Lynne Mcilvride. I have been an artist ever since I remember. I find speaking awkward: my first language is colour. (It’s a good line that has served me well.) A little background to explain tornados and cats: I have a new studio. No, let me back up. I had an old studio in a farmhouse and an old marriage in that same house. I was happy there until I was dumped like a dog out of a moving vehicle. I grieved. I was kept sane by my friends, my faith and my art. For those of you who have followed my work, you will not be surprised by what happened next: I kept painting using new metaphors. My art has always been personal, autobiographical, symbolic, expressive. A tornado soon appeared in a dream and it started a huge series that has not completely spun out. Here is my artist statement I have reused a few times:
Weather is such a powerful metaphor for human emotion. And that writhing weather monster, the tornado, is a particularly apt way of describing the trauma, the fury, the intensity of loss. It’s hard not to take a tornado personally: it gets to the point by narrowing down and strikes a specific spot. It comes out of the blue. We don’t know what hit us. We are caught in a whirlwind of emotion. Everything is up in the air. There is no emergency plan for these twists of fate.
To put a positive spin on it, a tornado (that snaking shape-shifter) is just energy. It makes a long-winded metaphor that lasts and lasts because it wrecks and then absorbs whatever it touches down on. What starts out as an emblem of emotional devastation contorts into an expression of fury and then is reborn as a metaphor for unstoppable creativity, play, and passion. Like the flowering cross, can it become a cornucopia? Blooming tornados! Elijah goes to heaven, Dorothy goes to Oz, one thing for certain is we are pulled out of our orbit and dropped in a different place, undone.