Looming is about feeling helpless in the face of global climate change, specifically the recent widespread fires across Canada and the world. Prone and helpless, my disjointed figure represents my own inactivity looming above the burning prairie landscape. I painted myself with a collage-like aesthetic, like a character from the drawing game Exquisite Corpse. With trompe l'roil ("fool the eye") illusion, one leg appears to be cut out from an image of endangered trumpeter swans flying in a clear blue sky -- a memory of earlier times, and hope for the future. The other leg appears to be cut out from lined notebook paper, conspicuously blank of useful ideas or plans.
This painting includes very personal imagery -- my torso has been cut out to remove my breasts from my body, referencing breast cancer scares, the looming possibility of mastectomy, as well as recent incidents of censorship in my paintings. From a broader perspective, my self-portraits represent society itself: like my disjointed figures, our society is struggling to hold itself together right now amid extreme social and political polarization. As a community, we are conflicted about our relationship to the natural world. Even in the face of increasing climate catastrophes on our doorstep, we are unable to agree on a path forward. Yet the fact that we continue to function as a society at all is a testament to our communal resilience and hope. I want my work to embody this balance between crisis and resolution. Even when we feel like we might fall apart, as individuals and as a society, there is beauty, humour, and grace to be found where we least expect it.