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Jul 14, 2017
"Stranger Than Earth" Solo Show Part 3

Part 3 - The Frozen Waterfall

Snowblind

"Snowblind" Approx 34"x44" Oil and Mixed Media on Lasercut Acrylic

Last autumn, I began sorting through all the photographs from Iceland & the Tulip Fields and thinking about the shape this series would take. Then my life fell apart... A close friend committed suicide, and the aftermath left our whole Seattle art family reeling. My longterm relationship ended soon after, in the midst of the chaos surrounding the US election. In the dark winter hours that followed, it was difficult to do anything creative.

"Landslide" 18"x24" Oil and Mixed Media on Lasercut Panel

But slowly it became clear that immersing myself in art was the only way to rebuild my fractured heart. The painting "Landslide" came from this moment. It's the only piece in the series based on a place that doesn't exist - the background is a combination of several landscapes, including ice from the beach at Jokusarlon, and the misty hills after nightfall at Lake Crescent in the Olympics. For me this painting was about letting go - a moment in the fallow lands of winter, before life can return again.

This series needed a new element after all of the changes my life had gone through. We found a frozen waterfall not too far from Seattle, which seemed like the perfect bridge between the ice lagoon & flower fields. It took several attempts to reach the waterfall; during our first try a blizzard made the hike impossible. After hours of battling waist-high snowdrifts and coming close to frost-bite, Roxanna, Anthon and I had to give up and turn back.

Behind the Scenes photo by Anthon Smith

On Valentines Day we finally succeeded, trekking through miles of snow with camera gear and a giant flower-covered hoop-skirt. My sister Roxanna was incredible, modeling in the below freezing conditions at the base of the ice-wall, wrapped only in thin cellophane.

"Snowblind" detail 

Thinking about the creatures that might inhabit the transformed world of "Stranger Than Earth" pushed me further into surrealism, and the flower wolf was born! This was a super exciting breakthrough, and is a new direction I want to explore further in future works.

"Snowblind" detail

The final piece of the series was actually also the first - before the tulips, before Iceland and all the changes, model Caitin Stickels & I collaborated on a photoshoot in a magical bluebell meadow. The meadow was in an abandoned lot and has since been bulldozed over, so it will never bloom again with the intimate brilliance we experienced. Like so many of the settings in this series, it's a stark reminder that there is no returning to a moment or a place. We live each experience and hold a crystalline version of it within as the world continues to change.

"Last Shapes of Never" 14"x18" Oil and Mixed Media on Lasercut Acrylic

Hopefully you've enjoyed this in depth glance at the inspiration behind the show! If you are near LA, please join me at the opening tonight & see all these pieces in person! 

Corey Helford Gallery
571 S Anderson St, Los Angeles, CA 90033
July 15th 6-11 PM

"Chasing Rainbows" Photograph by Kindra Nikole

LINK COPIED