These times are not normal. We must not forget that.
This last year, while trying not to become desensitized, while also trying to maintain a degree of sanity, without lapsing into depression….well, that was really tough...
Situational Depression comes and goes as my concern for my son’s (our children's) future seems to be sliding into a dystopian nightmare. For months after the new administration I couldn’t really go back to what I had been painting before. Quite honestly, I am not who I was before. I had never as an adult had this much concern for our world; our collective ability to show compassion, our capacity to care for others who may be different than ourselves, our stewardship protecting our environment/planet, and far too many other concerns to fully mention here...
After my fight response grew exhausted, my flight instinct kicked in.
On a whim, I moved my son and myself into the heart of the Rocky Mountains to a small town; population around one hundred and thirty people. I needed to get away from society... collect my thoughts, plan a future for my son, reconnect with nature…turn off the news, hike, meet new people, become clean again…
It was time to begin a new series of work.
I found myself surrounded by nature, but also, more interestingly, the remnants of a ghost town marked by collapsed marble structures, deteriorating earth movers, old defunct mines. I moved to a place that has the background of an apocalyptic world. It is a visual landscape metaphor of a civilization in decline. Perfect. And what did I find to inhabit this apocalyptic vision?
My own resilient, newly teenaged son and his bright, quirky new friends. Depression halted.
People had tried to make me feel better previously, saying that this new state of what feels like the decline of civilization won’t last. It is only a behavioral burst, the last dying gasp of many things that plague our society. It is our negative qualities screaming and kicking as they pass away….
But finally I was able to see it.
I now see that which is hopeful. I see intelligent, curious, openminded, compassionate youth. Young people that exemplify diversity, who immediately became my heroes and heroines, overcoming all the oppressive and unjust tendencies of society.
That which is hopeful, is not necessarily cool, it is not new, and it can be quite cheesy. More importantly for me, it became necessary to flesh out at this content. In my catharsis, I began to believe in a brighter future and desired to lay it bare for others. I hope that this is more than catharsis for myself. I hope it shows our youth what they intend to be. They will lift us all while we wait out the social decline of the previous system.
Going feral is a way of saying that we choose to step back from a society that has taken many ignorant turns. Choosing to escape domestication in terms of following an Authoritarian Regime. F*CK THAT. F*CK THAT. F*CK THAT.
Reconnecting with what is simple, while disconnecting with the ills of civilization that seems to sometimes have gone hateful and ignorant. Leaving behind the city and some culture to some degree, by returning to feral seems more natural at this point.
I feel we have come back to something more simplistic from which we can set out a different more diversified course.
My hope is that our children will lead from a more compassionate foundation.
If so, I feel they will lead beyond feral with compassion.
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