Helen Day Art Center - Exposed


Portfolio: Colleen Kiely

Artist Statement

I created this series of drawings, Gone to Feed the Roses, in the months immediately following my mother’s death (January – March, 2012). Working directly from arrangements of her funeral flowers, each drawing is an invented, composite image of different bouquets as in Dutch flower paintings.

This series maps a range of formal possibilities and expressive states through a varied orchestration of core drawing elements – line, value, space and mark-making. Dislocations and instability are part of the drawing process, which includes blind contour. While the initial drawings focus on the feeling of decay, the later images include moments of renewal. Visual metaphors of transience, these images search for the precarious balance between absence and presence.

The title is taken from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Dirge Without Music. The poem is both poignant and resolute, mirroring the experience of grief.

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