PROMISE LAND  
2017 - in progress

Oh promised land
What a wicked ground
Build your dream, tear it down.
 
Natalie Merchant

 Banana Factory Art Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Banana Factory Art Center, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Smears

Spills and Stains

Paper Crowns

My work explores the elusive and uneasy feelings of powerlessness, the things we hide and the secrets we keep.

The series "Promise Land" speaks to conflicting pressures women face. I use smears, stains and spills as metaphors for
what we wish to conceal but cannot suppress. Our early hopes and expectations, the belief that we can do anything,
leave us at odds as we mature and internalize resistance from society.  Are we too much or not enough?  We learn to

be both cautious and defiant - promised a kingdom, we are continually silenced.  How do we stand up when we are
perpetually taught to sit down?  Suspended between the desire to communicate and the fear of being exposed,
we walk a tightrope between hiding and wanting desperately to be seen. Still and restrained, these images
convey an intensity referencing old European painting and emphasizing the collective unconscious. 
The photographs and videos from "Promise Land" blur the boundaries of what
society expects from us and the loss of childhood innocence.

                             
                               I recently started incorporating video in my work as a way to capture an extended portrait, as well as to introduce a
performative aspect involving the viewer. To this end, the viewer becomes a collaborator in the process.

https://vimeo.com/user8487879

           Prints in this series available as 30 x 30"  signed, limited edition prints.