My life, even before the extraordinary events of the last few weeks, has felt like a kind of in-between place.
A year ago, I finished my Masters in Fine Arts at NSCAD. In one year, my daughter finishes high school; this phase of motherhood will end too. I moved to the city to do my degree; now I feel pulled to return to the country. I am in a state of transition and uncertainty: between what was and what will be, both in my work and in my personal life, without any clear vision of what comes next. The future is unknown.
When I was making this work, I had no agenda. So, I brought in boxes of old photographs to my studio and spread them out on my work table. Each day I would go in and shuffle through them until I hit upon one that felt right. And then I would paint it. Some I had painted before, some were new to me. I did this every day throughout the making of the work. There was no judgement; I just followed my compulsions.
What I began to notice is that all of the images I wanted to paint seemed to line up into two categories: paintings of the beach and shoreline (mostly in fog), and paintings of the time when day becomes night or night becomes day. It struck me that both categories embodied the idea of liminal: according to the dictionary, “occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.” A sense of transition, of edge. The place between things: the boundary between light and dark, the known and unknown.
This liminal place comes with an inherent sense of mystery, or potential. What comes next? I really don’t know. But by painting it, by focusing on this threshold, I am trying to make peace with not knowing. That’s what this work is about for me: embracing the place in between.