At the concentration camp site and at the Jewish Museum in Germany I began to consider the importance of light in isolated environments, environments of extreme suffering and environments that are considered sacred, such as a church or cathedral.
With light comes color, and color denotes life. Light is also associated with knowledge, hope, warmth and energy. In architecture light is used as an element of design; and if you consider how the architecture of the prison cells limited the amount of light that made its way in, that light becomes more precious to the person in the cell or in solitary confinement. Psychologically, this may have been the only element of hope present in that type of environment. Light is extremely important because it becomes the only source of visual escape from imprisonment and isolation. When you look outward, for an instance you are not visually aware of your immediate surroundings, and in that instance there is a visual escape that takes place. When people gaze into a sunset they are experiencing that escape simultaneously with the visuals of color spectra created by light. We are free to experience the vastness of light every day when we walk outside into the sun. This body of work was influenced by those who were not, and are not free.
My intention with these paintings is to give the viewer a narrow but vast window of light. Narrow enough not to physically fit through, but vast enough through which to visually escape.
Craighead Green Gallery
1011 Dragon Street
Dallas, Texas 75207