ARTIST STATEMENT: GRANNY PEACE BRIGADE PROJECT
As an artist, I bear witness. Working from nature or documenting the cause of peace, my commitment is to observe and verify that moment of life in front of me; to distill the intrinsic meaning found in the structure, form and flow; to record my observations, thus validating the event.
I am driven to paint nature and people-- capturing my subjects in action. When I spent time in upstate New York, I focused on rocks, water, and plant-life, rather than still lifes or sweeping panoramas. When my practice became based entirely in Manhattan, I began to paint from my sketches and photographs of people in action on nearby urban streets–most often local protesters.
From this impulse I have produced a body of work based on the women of the activist group, The Granny Peace Brigade. I have followed these courageous women, photographing and drawing them while joining their demonstrations. The project synthesizes my concerns as an artist, activist, and feminist. Making paintings from my documentation of these feisty seniors provides me–an activist since the days I marched against the Vietnam War with the Women’s Strike for Peace–a wonderful opportunity to merge my political convictions and concerns with my aesthetic quest to create dynamic paintings.
Through my active witness, I convey the vitality of these passionate older women who are defying the perceived limits of age and sex to live up to the slogan on one of their placards- “Democracy Is Not A Spectator Sport”. At the same time I am broadening my painting vocabulary, exploring ways to visually express their spirit and message. So the project is as much about painting as it is about the narrative.