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"Dear Garden: Letters from
Anonymous You"

The painting construction, "Masquerade", in the exhibition "Dear Garden: Letters from Anonymous You" is based on an interpolated image of people having a picnic at a local park in San Antonio, Texas. "Masquerade" acts as the visual anchor for the space; “Trellis” is stationed directly across and beckons the viewer to interact with a quick note or letter; "The Door" is a painting the size of a door surrounded with smaller paintings on the floor and wall that suggest a psychological entrance into the garden. The smaller paintings add to the dialogue as well as direct the viewers’ attention to the larger works that carry on the narrative. One of the small set of paintings is titled “Remains of the Day", abstract paintings created from the pallet after a day of painting, that are for the mind’s eye. The second set of small paintings is titled “I Can’t See You Anymore”, based on famous celebrity break ups with their eyes purposefully left unfinished.  A collage of home videos and still shots of parks and gardens from around the world add a historical element.

The following is the artist statement directed to the viewer during exhibition:

In the digital age, personal letters and love notes have been replaced by text messages and postings on Facebook. These so-called Social Networks are meant to make it easier to connect with family and friends, casual acquaintances, complete strangers, or, simply, the anonymous Internet universe. They have become virtual public gardens for meeting new friends and old lovers.

And yet, something uniquely human has been lost in translation: the scratch of the writing instrument as it moves across the paper; the careful folding of the note along a crease; perhaps a scent of perfume or a pressed flower to tickle the senses.

And what of the public garden itself? The original garden was Eden, where Adam and Eve fed from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Great cities have been measured by their gardens ever since; the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; the grounds at Versailles; Hyde Park in London;  even Brackenridge Park in San Antonio.

Gardens invoke ideas such as city, home, wilderness, Utopia, Heaven, or Hell. Their history represents not just a location on the map, but belief systems, social structures, a lifestyle. We are bound by its social and psychological connection and our ability to find solace in a physical place.

“Dear Garden: Anonymous Letters from You,” invites the viewer to return to the physical – to seek solace in oneself and share anonymously in writing. Enter the garden. Take up a pen and share your thoughts on relationships, people, and places. Then post the message on the trellis for all to see.

Thus, a small note to "Dear Garden" becomes a confessional to another viewer – something desperate or something wonderful. The end result will be imperfect in form, but uniquely human in presentation.

 
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"Masquerade"
 
           
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Details "Masquerade" (above)
             
                         
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"Dear Garden" video screenshot (above)
"The Door " (above)
 
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"Trellis" (above)
click on image to view letters

 
                               
 
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Select works from "I Can't See You Anymore " (above)
       
             
Select works from "Remains of The Day" (above)

 

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