Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Watch You Slip Away
There have been a lot of paintings that I have done based around the loss of my mother. The first, 'She' was made when I was 19. It took me five years to process that event, you see. When I was 25 and in art school I did the found objects piece, 'Watch You Slip Away' which my father bought. I often wonder if he knew what he really bought and what that meant. By the time I was 30 I had made one of my favorite not-ever-for-sale paintings, 'Requiem'. That one, as with the others, helped me. She isn't here you see, and she isn't ever coming back. She's not 'on vacation' like I told myself in high school in order to survive it. I understand these things now, I really do. I know because the empty never fills back up in some situations. I just still long for her sometimes; for a person I lost 19 years ago, for a person I don't even know anymore. It's an odd concept, but I think I paint her because it makes her a part of my experience, forever.
I am on the precipice of another major lamentation. The new series will allow me to cover any and every situation where I have lost someone, quite easily. I can ride that broken heart metaphor out as long as it goes....and I will. I think that there is something in me that is so terrified of those moments of loss. When one is empty of a person rather than full, and how quickly that can occur.
So I guess, I can keep people forever this way, because they have to go through me again in order to get out creatively; a transformation, a resurrection. I have to experience them again. They fill me up, and then I lose them (as always) to the paper. But in this small way, they will be a part of me forever. It means they will have lived inside me at some point. I guess for that, I should be grateful...and that will have to be enough.
All work copyright Shana R. Goetsch.