Six months ago today I started a new chapter in my life as I was wheeled down a dark and breezy hallway to an operating room for Cancer surgery. Through nothing short of a miracle I went from diagnosis to Cancer free (knock on wood) all within a month, all thanks to a fast acting surgeon and lady luck. Everything happened so quickly I barely had time to process the whole experience, which I am now reflecting on as I heal my body and mind. Naturally, over the past six months of processing this experience, I have found it bleeding into my art, subconsciously and intuitively.
My first large format painting of 2015, which I completed in March, is evidence of this intuition and a result of processing things through dreams. Painting was on my mind, where do I go from here, and how will this experience affect my exploration of the Canadian landscape and psyche. Where does the road from #ICONICCANUCK lead now?
I came to answer these questions through this painting. I saw myself emerging from an almost deep sleep, coming out from the protection of the forest trees and shadows. The Canadian flag offering warmth, comfort and care. I heard it time and time again when I was diagnosed, "if you are going to get Cancer, Canada is a good place to get it." The hockey goalie mask, also a form of protection and disguise, is lifted to let the sun shine on my face as I walk towards the shore, ocean, and the mountains. Sunlight streaming through Emily Carr skies with clouds that have a unity of movement. Carr painted on the shoreline where I live and work out of my studio. Every time I see these wavy, repetitious clouds, I think of her looking at the same sky years ago in the very same spot. The Canadian geese flying over each shoulder ushering me out of the dark and back to the light, they are my 'wingmen' of sorts and they wake me every morning as they argue, flying past my balcony and landing on my rooftop.
When this piece was complete I was going to title it, 'From The Forest to the Sea'. It was not quite right and I wanted a play on words, so I came to settle on, 'SEE' instead of 'Sea' as it speaks to me seeing the light once again. In April I flew out to Toronto and planned to see the Basquiat exhibit at the AGO, when I looked up the show on the AGO website I found information about the upcoming Carr exhibit, and the title? 'From The Forest To The Sea'. Whether it was intuition, or the show title bleeding into my subconscious somewhere along the way during my weekly gallery emails, I do not know for sure. It seemed like a nice coincidence with a tap on the shoulder, "hey you, you are headed in the right direction, just breathe and let it go."
This painting will see the light of day and the eyes of art lovers at this year's Sooke Fine Arts Show, which just happens to be my childhood hometown. The first time I attended this show was with my artist mother as a teenager many years ago. The first time I exhibited in this show was in 2009, alongside my mother. It was the first art show she ever entered in all her years of making art and her works were accepted. I am happy to be headed home to present this piece in Sooke, a full circle journey. ~ Brandy Saturley