"Rarely Home" : Cleveland @ Maria Neil Art Project : Cathie Bleck Amy Casey
Around April this year Amy Casey, a fabulous artist here in Cleveland, who has been featured multiple times in New American Paintings, asked me to join her in a show here at home. I was thrilled and honored to show with her at a new project space in the Waterloo Arts District, Maria Neil Art Projects (There are some photos from the opening on the gallery website). Neither of us show in Cleveland regularly so the title "Rarely Home" was especially fitting and I created a body of small and intimate pieces returning to my signature style of black and white works, often taking work on the road this past year.
These paintings provide little windows into the emotions that occur from the pleasures of leaving "home" which to is not always the physical home but rather the "place" we feel most at ease. When I think of physical travel away from my house I also think about the dual curse of what is left in the trail (someone is always excited that you are visiting and someone else is always sad that you are gone). It is a lot of work to travel, but I have always viewed it as an experience embracing the unknown and enjoy thinking fast on my feet when obstacles occur. Perhaps it is at a core level a necessary act for people in order to understand the meaning of their own lives. We sometimes don't see what is staring us right in our face, we must leave our comfort zone and step into darkness in order to see the light.
From the book The Power of the Obvious by Aldo Papone:
travel, (a word that comes from travail, meaning work or torment-and “travail”, in turn, was derived from the Latin word tripalium, which was a three-staked instrument of torture!) Historically, humans have encountered travel as a marvel that brings light and wonder into our lives, making knowledge and experience accessible.
I spent about 6 months this year traveling, gathering research for my artwork, often bringing smaller works with me on the road to work on. For 3-4 months of the year I worked prolifically in my Cleveland Heights studio, inspired by the visual vocabulary and experiences of what I have taken in from my travels, these include hundreds of journals some of which will be on view in this show. In many ways these journals are how I process information and heighten recording personal memories-my external hardrive of my brain.
This body of work includes fourteen intimate black and white works, three dimensional color pieces, as well as journals from the past few years cascading over a dimensional waterfall of kaolin and blue pigments painted doors. Also included are laser jet cut pieces in clay board in the forms of a light box as well as an antique Samsonite suitcase which holds a small illuminated dimensional diorama which can be seen through a door peep hole on the outside.