Leaf Lady/ Conversion
Atlanta Contemporary, Sliver Space Gallery, September-November 2022
While I was walking in Cascade this past summer, I saw a flock of large white birds flying really close to the ground. When I got nearer to the flock, I realized that one of my favorite trees had fallen and the undersides of its giant leaves were a different color - almost totally white. The branches were dark and blended in with the rest of the dark woods so the leaves appeared free floating over the forest floor - like birds flying (also - my imagination tends to turn everything it can’t immediately make sense of into an animal - quite often a bird). It was simultaneously sad (as trees falling always are to me) but also so beautiful. Then I thought about the tree and how in reality it will transform into energy and life for so many other things. Maybe its life (as it knows it) is over, but in its next phase, it becomes something else entirely - something physically unrecognizable as a tree but maybe even more beautiful. While it lets go of its old self - it creates and sustains and inadvertently grows into other things. At the time, I was reading a book called the Seas (by Samantha Hunt - thank you Jenny!). The main character - for many (sad) reasons - feels deeply connected to the sea. In the story, she imagines and transforms people she loves into sea water, which, as a (possible) mermaid, essentially makes them part of her - something she can ingest and surround herself with, always. This sight, of transformation reminded me of her and then what she shares with the tree but in reverse. And then, of course, my own life and then just life. Love and letting go and grief and then the other side but that also being food for growth and sustenance. Before during and after, and if there ever really is an after. Maybe it is all just “during" and processing and changing and changing again.
All of this is what went into the concept of the piece at the Contemporary in the teeny ass Sliver Space Gallery