FORGETTING IS ALSO IMPORTANT
Little known fact - I will be having my first solo art opening at Rock Wall gallery in August.
It feels big, and it feels like the right time to pour my efforts into works that have been lingering inside of me for a long time, ready to get out. I am making a show about becoming, but also in that process a show about forgetting. I’ve always had a hard time letting go, keeping faded and folded notes and photos of ghosts from the past, even when the feelings associated with those things had long since evaporated. I hold on to very little, and yet I hold onto everything. I read and reread these pieces of my former life a few times a decade, usually before a big move when I’m packing all of my belongings into neat boxes and reevaluating their worth. I finger over the creases of my hurried 15-year-old scrawl, the indentations of typewriter letters punched into paint swatches, dried flowers from the hot summers of years ago. While my wardrobe, craft supplies, trinkets, and books are constantly being circulated in and out of my life, these stacks of paper and words and pain and love never get thrown away. Even after I forget which crush I went to a scary movie with in 2010. Even if none of it holds any power anymore on the surface, it all holds a deep and astonishing power on me.
I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS COLLECTION OF PARTS OF MY LIFE.
I love the way they make me feel, so distant and so present all at once. They remind me constantly how much I’ve grown. They make me proud to have been me, at all points in my life. I can see myself figuring it out. I can trace the bends in the paper where I worried an edge during Physics class, thinking about the phone buzzing over and over in my purse. I am connecting with the girl I was while finding an understanding of the woman I am now in the process.
The past shaped who I am today, and so I must acknowledge it. Give it the space it needs, work through the traumas that feel etched into my brain matter. I must let it reside somewhere inside of me and continue to help me grow, but I must also be able to release it so that it doesn’t hurt anymore.
This winter, during my residency at The Future in Minneapolis, I made the decision to mail home some journals that I’d brought with me in the hopes of rereading, making copies, and beginning to format this show. The box got lost in the mail and never arrived back to Nashville. I was sad at first, thinking of the journal pages I’d never revisit again, and I fell into a deep worry that I’d forget what I used to be like. But I won’t, and I can’t, but I should (maybe a little bit sometimes). I should forget just for moments where I came from and just BE. I read somewhere that human beings spend over half of their time thinking abiut the past or the future. Living like a fucked up time warp of “what ifs”. Asking "who am I becoming?” or “who was i then?” instead of “who am I now?”.
That’s what this show is. It’s the first body of work I’ve made since my senior show in college. And in some ways it acts as a bookend to that show and the life I’ve lived in between these two exhibitions. My senior show was about anxieties, about the result of all of these years of being human and loving humans and hating them, too. This show is about the opposite of that. It’s about stepping into the cool waters of memory without fear. It’s about realizing where I came from and how far I’ve come already. It’s a show about who I am as a woman, a witch, an artist, and a human body. It’s about anxiety transformed into control. It’s about using my magic and intuition to get there. It's BECOMING, and it's releasing. And it’s WHO I AM, RIGHT NOW.