Painting has changed my life.
My previous artistic expressions, mostly in the form of music and poetry, depressed me. I couldn't produce anything not tainted by bitterness, anger, and sadness. I was stuck in the darkness, the vestiges of civil war, loss of country and national identity, loss of friends, home, and any kind of stability. The war took away the truth.
My paintings uncovered to me the beauty of my life with all the good and the bad, all the happy and sad. Once I got to witness my life, or perhaps my mind, as beautiful, the whole world began to be more beautiful. I dared hope and trust for the first time in decades.
In painting I've finally found my voice. It feels fully authentic.
Creative inspiration for me comes from everything around me, including conversations with people, nature, architecture, as well as my own moods, feelings, and senses. The prevalent themes are female nudes, architecture, urban life, portraits, and geometric patterns. Included in this show at PAM is the "Vancouver" series and the "Unadorned" series.
The “Vancouver” series is a mission to depict Vancouver for Vancouverites, and to keep a record of architecture that locals have a connection to. The series is a contrast to the way our city is promoted to short term visitors. It is meant to capture the grit and meaning of the parts of our city that would be considered un-marketable to international consumers.
The “Unadorned” series for me represents freedom, and unapologetic feminism as part of that freedom. There are three characters in the series – the brunette, the redhead, and the clown- always nude, and the nudity is simply a symbol of freedom. The characters never cater to an outsider's sexual objectification. They are independent, intelligent, and busy doing their own thing.