Finding Direction Together
The last month has been disorienting: constantly changing information about places we can go, precautions we have to take.
Where do we go now, from here?
Looking outward for solace, inspiration, release, and perhaps a newfound intimacy of place. Looking inward for strength and unearthing our intuition, seeing colors blur and then brighten through windows, through screens and lenses of distance.
We are adapting to an ever-changing potential tomorrow. Masks we wear now, work we uncover and recover together.
Safety and support is our new direction, just making sure our actions count - the ways we can cultivate courage and pay attention. Each of these works gives a different angle to help us redirect and pause.
The North and South Faces and East and West Horizons stand as "walls" to turn towards, or as different directions we can choose – to walk, to look, to grow towards. The Sky and the Earth add the two remaining directions to the dimensions we occupy and inhabit and act as reminders of the Earth Day we celebrate this month.
Imagine this virtual space as a room without walls that you can explore and perhaps poke at your own perceived boundaries and the connections we can make to each other across the social spaces online now. Enjoy these wonderful works and please support the artists and the Beatnik by purchasing directly on the site.
We would like to thank Deborah Tobin and Ted Quinn at the Beatnik Gallery for all of their support in co-hosting this show and live event for the community. We wish we could be with you in-person, but this site brings us together in a different way.
- Jenny Kane (Arts Connection Director)
Title Image - Caged #2 by Cindy Dillingham
the space between us, the things we share, the things we keep with us. forever.
"These works were made during "stay at home" orders. They were made five minutes at a time -in between mom, house, and teaching duties. These works are five minute breaths, five minutes of silence, five minutes of grief, five minutes of anger, five minutes of forgetting, five minutes of focus."
Jacqueline Bell Johnson
Sometime after the election, I began cutting leaves and photographing them. A small impulse to make something visible again. After many walks, I would mark sites of potential, choosing a trajectory but lacking an objective. The pictures describe a world that you and I occupy, full of plants— many of them just weeds. My interventions left marks that we may recognize but communicate something unknown; they describe decisions shaped to our visual language, but without a clear message. A feeling that both acknowledges and denies my impermanence. Through the looking glass, my city is a forest—an unforgiving but extraordinary place. At its core, it is continuously shifting. Over the years, I have developed my practice to adapt to the conditions of life. This iteration of pictures was confined by space, but grew in possibility.
Everything has slowed down suddenly. I have more time to and for myself. My portrait is part of a series on social inequality, but during this time it's became much more. The cells in the portrait are those of the participants; of my friends, of my family. Creating mine allowed me to reflect on who I am, what I've experienced, and the people I've had the opportunity to meet along the way.
"In these times of crisis, so many things are in short supply or no longer possible, but despite these shortages and limitations, love is still an infinite resource and we can always extend love to others in different ways: sharing resources, donating money, check-ins, and other loving acts."
Since my work is about connection to the environment we all live in, at this time I would say these pieces are about disconnection. Spring in the desert is my favorite time of the year. I am usually out daily, hunting for fleeting wildflowers and the insects that come with them, enjoying the break in the weather, between cold and windy, and hot and windy, and generally marveling at the wonders of this harsh environment we call home. This year, however, is different, for all of us. COVID-19 is the thing connecting us right now, but it has also created so much disconnection, both physically and mentally.