The inspiration for this body of work came after an exhibition I curated titled, Portraits of People We Love, held at MICA Place last October. In this exhibition artists created work that depicts a person or persons each artist loves. The results were beautiful and have blossomed into a second installation at Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ this coming October. The process of organizing these two shows have planted and watered a seed in me to find a way to connect my text-based mosaic work with my experiences of love and people I love. I started with my grandfather who died when I was a child, but who left a letter for me to open when I turned sixteen. In the letter the words “you are love” were written and as a teenager had a deep impact on me. Returning to the letter as an adult, I am now able to read in it what must have been a time of great pain for my grandfather and still he found a way to express his love through his pain. I remain in awe by this letter and his words of love. I feel grateful that this message was expressed to me at such an important moment in my life.
From this single piece grew a series of smaller text work that include words I find necessary for any loving relationship. The other two larger pieces were inspired by two long term friends and peers who have had great impact on my art and my life. The last two pieces included are about the loss of love and the need to remember that just as each day begins anew, loss is an opportunity to love anew... to love oneself, the world, strangers, friends, family, everyone.
The tumult in the heart
keeps asking questions.
And then it stops and undertakes to answer
in the same tone of voice.
No one could tell the difference.
- Elizabeth Bishop