The Gladstone Hotel Exhibit, 2013


2013 was a very dark year for me, and all I could do was turn to art. I drew broken, desperate people. I began a painting from one of these drawings and put mountains in the background. When friends came by, they saw an angel: the unfinished mountains in the background had become wings that sprung from the creature’s back.

I wrote a poem, only feathers string me across the sky, one nudge or wrinkle and I fall, crash through violet dusk and skyscrapers, this wingless, landlocked, flattened creature of despair, which described the fragile threads/feathers that kept me alive, that kept me from falling through sky. When I started to paint, what appeared on my canvas was an angel that hovered above the city, pulled upward by her wings. People saw her as they needed to: as a guardian angel, an angel of hope, or an angel of sorrow. That painting was Angel Over the City.

At around the same time, I was driving home one evening with the radio on, when the host began talking about Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest who fell into a state of despair when her daughter, Persephone, was abducted by the king of the Underworld. It occurred to me that I was Demeter, longing for my daughter who had moved across the continent, and I was Persephone, mourning my mother who had just passed away. I wrote a poem, then began the series of drawings and paintings of Demeter and Persephone, which include Demeter, Persephone and Persephone and the King.