The collection Within Darkness proposes the welcoming of creative stages that are in darkness, the often difficult and initial tasks that we must undertake when we are learning something new, experimenting, desiring change, or looking for solutions. These works are also a homage to Audre Lorde’ by referencing her poems “Now that I am forever with child,” “A Litany for Survival,” and “A Woman Speaks” in each artwork’s title.
These prints on photographic paper started as paintings done by Helena when she was three years old. She used edible, non-toxic paint on paper with brushes and her hands. Then I had the digital images of the paintings modified to a black background to enhance Helena’s creative gestures. To paint with a young child is to accept the messiness and the whole-body exploration of materials. Through this making process, I found resonance with Lorde’s call for creativity: “...we must never close our eyes to the terror, to the chaos which is Black which is creative which is female which is dark which is rejected which is messy which is… Sinister, smelly, erotic, confused, upsetting…”
To our collectors, I hope these works become daily reminders of all that is beginning, the life that is still not totally visible, growing within the darkness but already with beauty, full of gesture and color, with its own light shining through.
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