Known Unknowns

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Artists: Hannah Green; Lara Shipley and Antone Dolezal; Paul Thulin

Exhibition Dates: September 2 – October 3, 2015
Reception and Artist Talks: Thursday, September 3, 6 – 8.30 pm. Talks by Hannah Green and Lara Shipley begin at 6.15 sharp.
Curated by Taylor Balkissoon

Perhaps it is easiest to find meaning in our experiences by not questioning their validity but rather questioning their emotional value and appreciating the known unknowns.

In Devil’s Promenade, Lara Shipley and Antone Dolezal explore the Ozarkian local legend of the ‘Spook Light,’ a floating glowing apparition said to reside where the Devil lives and that has come to represent a ‘reprieve from ordinary life, while the stories used to explain it’s origin are firmly rooted in the nuts and bolts of human experience.’ Similarly, Paul Thulin’s Pine Tree Ballads explores a slightly more personal narrative that is also rooted in the nuts and bolts of human experience, namely his family’s century long repeated returns to his great grandfather’s land, and the existential state of mind that space allowed his family to enter.

The two projects are intended as one exhibition, highlighting the more concrete traditions of folklore, personal narrative and place while still acknowledging that we do not know all of the answers and that there is some beauty in that – in not knowing and creating narratives and explanations for the darker facets of human experience, we see light, and see the roots that grow deeper than one single lifespan can take credit for.

In a way, Hannah Green’s Window series addresses these themes in the most personal way of the three. In dealing with her mother’s untimely death, Green has found reprieve from the ordinary through the recognition that since matter can neither be created nor destroyed, we continue to be a part of the environment past the confines of consciousness. The fear of disappearing into darkness that characterizes the Spook Light is dissipated by Green’s recognition of light and land as forms of energy that connect us to our experiences – dark or light – and to our roots – cultural or familial.