Shanghai Sojourn 2012
The summer of 2012, not unlike the movie ‘Summer of 42’ offered the best and the worst of times. Rolled into a 5-month residency at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel at No. 19 on the Bund in Shanghai, China, was everything needed to push my boundaries beyond my comfort zones into a fresh start with my art. When a million people walk past your residence daily, it is easy to inhale curiosity. Like salmon swimming upstream, everyday a million Chinese make their way down Nanjing East road towards the Bund. Cloistered inside our century old establishment, artists from around the globe toil in their studios.
My space, large enough to house a family of 12, offered a new yet ancient atmosphere for me to create in. Out of this came a series of works that tried to combine and reflect the universal theme of the ‘Hero’s Journey’, loosely based on my previous MFA work and the writings of Joseph Campbell. Simply put, we all start out at ‘home’ where we grow and learn the basics and maintain the status quo until one day, unsatisfied or denied, we venture forth on an adventure or some journey. Along the way, we stop to contemplate something we experience or see. We find some answers or more questions. We carry on until a point is reached where we decide it is time to return ‘home’ and to share that which we have found outside the nest. And for all of us, the journey and results combine the best and worst of times into a canvas called ‘life’.