Jennifer Gillia Cutshall
Drawn to the Shadows II: Chasing Ghosts VI artists reveal the allure of the unknown
A SECOND GLANCE at the patterns, the fabric, the interior & exterior spaces, the faces, and the places
The theme of Chasing Ghosts floated into Verum Ultimum with the falling leaves and the warm glow of jack-o-lanterns. It attracted the most mysterious work of the entire season. Perhaps the artists (that were drawn to this theme) listen to the unsaid things, perhaps they see a link between grief and hope, or maybe they are simply drawn to exploring memory. Whatever the impetus, the compelling factors yielded work that is mesmerizing! In this year's edition, it was as if the unconscious whispered through the works, and beckoned the viewer to care more deeply.
I asked the Chasing Ghosts VI artists to share what compels them to express the hard things or the hidden things in their work.
The following are a few more of their responses:
Barbara Johansen Newman
"And I love the coming storm of words Slower and duller than desire, but Wider and deeper and longer-lasting Like everything you've known And at the same time everything There is to discover."
Robert Blazer Stewart
The title of this painting comes from a stanza in the poem "After Done" by Robert Blazer Stewart
Barbara Johansen Newman
"The dress is a specific type of clothing mainly identified with women's clothing. Images of women, culled from collected vintage photos, are painted as an integral part of the fabric, visually creating a fabric feminine lineage in dress form."
"Different layers of time, dimension, and reality were more noticeable when The Big Pause occurred resulting in growth and realizations on different levels...different perspectives than before."
"Progress: January 2019-September 2021 documents the tissues that I have saved from therapy over the last two years. These tissues represent growth, pain, forgiveness, loss, love, gratitude, fear, and so much more. Above all, these tissues represent progress."
"There is a moment, often, in dreams, when I press my palms down flat against the air—trying to find a surface to press on to—to lift myself up. Sometimes it's like finding invisible stone materialized beneath my palms, but sometimes my hand slips through, sinking a bit like pressing into mud. In these moments, there is a question: did my dreams spill out? That is to say, am I actually flying?
There were other moments, in nightmares this time, where no space stays the same. It is shifting, changing, entrapping, and most of all dangerous. It is the space between spaces, and it's not empty. Are these places real or imaginary? Neither. Both. They feel like places where the imaginary can be punctured, in search of a super-real, something sensed but not seen or articulated.
These dreams and the questions they raise (even if only in the moment) relate to the use of nightmare logic in film. If dream and nightmare logic represent the moment when accepted reality is fractured or broken, then the uncanny is the moment when reality is questioned: that flicker of am I dreaming, am I flying.
Recent work forms fully realized spaces that manifest these ideologies in a waking state, creating a questionable, unclear reality. Using the multiple, I am creating common domestic objects (faucets, lamps, windows) and installing them in conjunction with light, video, and sound to create shifting layered spaces."
"Created from an inherited pillowcase, this work reflects on the hidden history and memories of the family. Opened out to reveal its patched and mended interior, the pillowcase bears witness to passions spent before sleep, dreams forgotten on waking, making their mark on the legacy of the past."
"MY BIRD ENZA is a mixed media collage that parallels the experiences of children living through the early 20th century flu epidemic and those of today’s COVID. It was inspired by a children’s playground rhyme from 1918.
A photo of paper doll children from long ago. Smiling eyes behind colorful covid cell-patterned masks. All wear dark and heavy coats. Except one. She is vulnerable as Enza rests on her head. He waits as the children’s masked descendants watch from the background. They all hear words but no one really understands their meaning. It’s just sounds and noise swirling and floating in the sky.
Will Enza take her, leaving a ghost in her place? Hopefully he’ll fly away, back to his red Covid sun, alone, leaving her to continue her innocent, carefree life of child’s play."
"This garment evokes my strong female ancestors and the protective wings their sturdy love provided. The underside is deliberately left exposed. Just as fears and terrors of the past need to be named for hope to emerge in the future, these stitches are necessary for the beauty to be observed."
"I am fascinated by the intrinsic order and beauty of nature, I attempt to capture and abstract its character in a manner that is uncanny, yet familiar. I am also deeply curious about the forces that govern human reason and faith, my work probes the amphibious network linking logic, intuition, consciousness, and emotion. Through this perspective, I am encouraged to draw upon my own experience as a means of illuminating the border between real and imaginary in order to explore our compulsion to identify imagery that feels familiar, and then draw from that impulse as an aperture to view something empirically new..."
"What is Left is an impression of someone who is no longer there, yet still there."
"I capture fine art images of abstraction, life, uninhabited landscapes, and unique portraits."
- David Ashman
Please visit the virtual galleries to see the works in scale ...
(the Chasing ghosts exhibit will disappear from the virtual galleries by the end of the month)...
Click the color text below to be transported to 2 distinct virtual galleries
Chasing Ghosts VI Part 1
Chasing Ghosts VI Part II
Viewing is best from a desktop and moving around the galleries works best using arrow keys.
Additionally, the following link goes to all 56 works (click color text below):
LINK TO THE CHASING GHOSTS VI COLLECTION
This link and the collection will remain available and part of Verum website for all time