It has been too long since my last post; life is so abundantly full right now. Back in early Spring my husband and I found out we were pregnant and in just a few weeks we will welcome our daughter into the world. I am so excited and nervous. Of course that news and the waiting and preparation for her approaching arrival had a tremendous influence on my thoughts, my feelings, my working process, and my artwork. I participated in a few group exhibitions this year and this month I was honored to have the opportunity to show all new work as a solo exhibition at the Heritage Hall Museum, an intriguing space tucked away in the small town of Talladega, Alabama. When people hear the word “Talladega” the first thing that comes to mind is usually car racing, but car races, I have discovered, are not the sole definition of Talladega, Alabama. There is a growing, supportive, and increasingly vibrant arts community in and around Talladega, and its center is the Heritage Hall Museum, located at 200 South Street East. Heather Miller is the executive director and has done an amazing job in bringing more artists and art viewers to the museum. She is one of the most dedicated and amiable people I have ever worked with. If you’ve never been to the Heritage Hall Museum, it is worth a drive over. Check out their website here: http://www.heritagehallmuseum.org/.
My solo exhibition, “The Strange Meditation of Waiting,” will be up until the beginning of November. I hope you can make a drive over to see it. For those of you unable to make the trip, I am posting an online exhibition here today. Please enjoy!
For the past eight months I have watched my body become a vessel of sustenance and protection and I have felt my spirit growing into that of a mother. To wait on the formation of a human life, one that was knit together inside of me and one that will be in the care of my husband and myself has been the strangest and most precious experience of my life so far. I have so many questions that will only be answered within the life of and relationship with the daughter I am waiting for, yet there is so much I have already learned from her presence.
This time of waiting has passed both slowly and quickly; this body of work is a meditation on the thoughts, feelings, and images that have made up this period of expectation. I created all of these pieces in between the revelation of my pregnancy and now. The subject matter focuses on my changing body, shifting landscapes and lines, and intimate spaces. In this body of work I deviated from my usual oil paints and used materials that allowed me to work more quickly and fluidly. Working with materials that dried quickly allowed me to create new images almost daily, thus allowing me to meditate on the countless small moments of joy and anxiety. I started out using powdered charcoal and then began to incorporate ink, watercolor, and acrylic paint. In the pieces that do utilize oil paints, I experimented with submerging fixed layers of charcoal. In the two paintings that are purely oil, I worked in extremely slow, thin layers, putting down veils of paint in order to create a sensation of endless atmosphere and the presence of something below the surface.
These images ended up coming together as visually poetic groups and pairs; four images became a sculpture. This sculpture reveals both the outer surfaces and the backs of the drawings; it allows the viewer to see both the inside and the outside of the sculpture and it contains both nothing and everything at the same time. This is the embodiment of waiting: to expect, prepare, and yet continue to be surprised, to celebrate and to worry, and to have an inexplicable love for someone you have never seen.
This is for you, Sophie Lynn, I look forward to meeting you.
-Mom (Aynslee Moon)