Altars

A.K Bellinger Gallery

April 21 – May 4 2022


This body of work came out of an exchange, a mutual relationship of give and take between myself and my garden.  Gardens are often associated with tameness and control, but the one I look after runs ahead of my plans, with an agency that acts on me and catches me in its cycles.

The subjects in my paintings come with personal stories.  I painted a particular nasturtium plant, which slowly grew over winter until by spring it was taller than me, a webbed microcosm of dark exuberance.  When I sat before it, it rose above me like a mountain.  I painted the moon, pulling me into the vortex of its gaze.  I painted carrot flowers, an unexpected delight, white with a heady scent.  I painted grassy tangles, small kingdoms under every step.  Looking up and down and around, I see archways and passages, bowers and portals.

Certain spots become altars, in-between places of giving and receiving.

I think about the relationship between attending and attention and tending.  The garden is a place that I tend to, and am tended by in turn.  I witness the garden’s movement, stillness, death, and rebirth.  A place of holding that exists beyond my passing presence, drawing me in.