penny eisenberg
Exhibition: June 4 - 20 - Opening reception: Thursday June 4, 6:30 - 8:30 pm

in praise of chaos and light

When the child was a child...
It had a precise picture of paradise
And now can only vaguely conceive of it at best
It couldn't imagine nothingness
And today shudders in the face of it (1)

i wanted these landscapes to be intimate, more abstract, replete, substantive, tactile, suffused with surface texture, pattern, mark-making, colour and form; evocative, conjuring memories of being there. i did not wish to privilege any one leaf or twig, or create a hierarchy of subject.

i didn't want to leave anything out, but i couldn't help it.

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching... (2)

although all the paintings depict actual places, i hoped by narrowing my focus to create something both more comprehensive on the one hand and less specific on the other. that as metaphor the miracle of the burning bush (the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed) might suggest the possibility of redemption from our heavy ecological footprint. without straying too far from home in the midst of our urban sprawl, i find small tangles almost everywhere, overlooked, unannounced, in harmony, where one branch gives way to a different tree, foliage intermingles, where nothing in particular becomes everything in a smile of light.

And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling, (3)

penny eisenberg 2009

(1) Peter Handke
(2) Martha Graham
(3) T.S. Eliot