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Gilda Snowden

gsnow19543@aol.com
Studio 305
2000 Brooklyn, #305
Detroit, MI 48226
United States


IMAGE AS AUTOBIOGRAPHY

I have always been an artist who dug as deeply as possible into all of my artistic forebears for sustenance. At various times I have sought out different groups, read manifestoes, traveled to see obscure exhibitions, immersed myself in the life stories of people who chose [or were chosen] to devote themselves to creative pursuits. As a young African American female painter, I looked for those who would echo me. As an artist committed to the vagaries of the urban landscape I sought out those who also found beauty in the gritty unexpected. As an abstract expressionist I looked for those who improvised with discipline. As an educator I looked for those who taught, who cared about the intellectual development and well-being of the audience. As an egoist I am drawn to those who shared of themselves but also blew their own horns, keeping altruism in perspective.

My TORNADO came from a dream.....a recurring one, that has become the basis for my current work. These nightmares are very real to me, because the reactions they elicit are tangible-----a momentary paralysis, goose bumps, night terrors, an inability to tell sleep from waking moments. Signs and signals. Clues to my self. A state-ment of where I exist in relation to the storm. Autobiography. The need to doc-ument, to mark, to preserve ones' self----to carry on, to deliver a message. This cycle is unending. The work satisfies me momentarily, then the sensation disappears, like morning fog. I have never been in a tornado, nor do I want to be. I gather information from a myriad of sources----media, print, recollections, dreams. The Tornado paintings are the attempt to fill in these empty spaces of my memory. A continuum is a continuous thing, quantity, or substance; a series of elements passing into one another. As a part of this process the artist describes his or her world with a resounding voice, and shares this song. The spectator listens without prejudging, and should initiate further discussion by making pointed, articulate inquiry. These questions, being stimulated by work that is visually challenging, or even traditionally based with an underlying poignancy, are an essential element in the continuum. Artists throughout history have used their works to study them-selves. I place myself within this continuum, and hope that my efforts add to the dialogue. Without dialogue the time line is broken.




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