Caesura, my solo exhibition at Honkytonks, finished up the week before last. The feedback about the paintings has all been really positive, which is flattering considering I’m still learning a lot about this medium! More importantly, however, is what I’ve learned from reaching this personal goal.
From out of Caesura, my love of art has reached a new high.
I really love painting – after a hectic work year last year, I was craving an outlet that was soothing and physical. Painting has become a meditation practice for me, allowing me to centre myself in the moment. While the canvases I’ve played with so far are still somewhat representative, I’m hoping to push myself into colour abstraction more. The simple contrast of colours and textures is really something I love, and I want to explore that without worrying about what it might represent.
Going into 2015, I set myself some goals- finish my Master degree, reinvigorate my art practice, and commit myself to a more balanced work/life schedule than that which I’d been following over the last few years. I wanted to feed learning a new skill in painting into my other art practices, my writing and studies, and cycle the vitality that these practices bring back towards painting. I don’t believe that creativity, work, family and health are experienced independent of each other. I believe that these are the pillars that shape a stable foundation for a happy, energised person- at least, that is true for me, although I’m sure for others the pillars are different or have different levels of importance.
In setting myself some goals, I’ve also committed to presenting my works publicly. Not because I need or want validation for the art (if someone likes a piece, I’m grateful, but I don’t expect it). Rather, the exhibitions I’ve set up are signposts of progress for working on my creative pillar. They are events that give me obtainable goals in this task of Self Growth.
Caesura is a big first step in this, but I want to slow everything down now- I’m still operating on a fast paced, immediate timeline that was brainwashed into me by school and work. Instead, I need to remember the meditative stillness that I reach when practicing art, the sensation that time is a slow, beating heart of a great and unknowable beast, and I am a floating speck inside of it. The creation moves through the creator when they reach this point- it is not forced, but a force in itself. If I can capture that slow, rich pace and feed that into my life, I have faith in finding a deeper connection with my work. Caesura reminded me to pause and be still, that space does not need to be filled, but can be harmonious in its simplicity and slowness.
I took down this exhibition and felt lighter for it- goals are good things, but the work was what was necessary first. I’m thankful for the space and the time Honkytonks gave me, and for the friends and family who came to see it. I’m grateful to those who bought pieces in the show and before the show, and those who will come after. If the works speak to you, I hope they do so in that same voice that I hear speaking to me.
The exhibition marks a necessary first step, and funded a second venture in August. After this, I plan to simmer in the quiet, calm space of art. I think it still has so much to teach me.
Artworks from the exhibition can be found in my online gallery, here: https://daniellekday.com/artist/online-gallery/