November 11 - December 20 2022
Drawing from the Wound Collective: (w)Hole
(w)Hole is an exhibition created by six Houston-based artists – JJ Baker, Pat McEnery, Ellen Orseck, Laura Spector, Peggy Steup, Terry Wheeler – who created the collective, “Drawing From The Wound”. Their work focuses on the topics of Grief, Apology, and Healing.
(w)Hole fosters reflection on personal subject matter while opening up a visual and audio dialogue that stems from each artist’s rawest human experiences. This project began prior to the pandemic and has only become more relevant and immediate as a result of how many people around the globe have been touched by loss and the arduous task of healing in such a short span of time.
The artwork in this exhibition includes an array of personal reflections ranging from the loss of a family pet, saying goodbye for the last time to a best friend, and healing on a beach across the world after witnessing a terrorist attack. The stories included in these artworks are a collective summation of what it means at our core to be human.
Each artist in the collective approaches art-making in a unique way including oil, acrylic, stained coffee, and sculpture. However, they have devised an approach to create a succinct exhibition based on common themes. The collective, “Drawing From The Wound” gathered together artists who have a history utilizing storytelling in their representational artwork. They were challenged to begin their art-making process by writing flash non-fiction stories, limited to 500-800 words. While writing, artists were asked to step far away from their comfort zones to find the truth of their experiences, digging deep into the recesses and shadows of their minds and forgoing the temptation of irony, which commonly appears in work when the truth is too difficult to bear.
The artists agreed to create three works of art each based on grief, apology, and healing. Along with a writing coach and editor and several round table discussions, the artists began their art-making journey with the written word.
Each visual artwork starts with the artist writing or attaching their written flash non-fiction story to the first layer of their artwork, commonly referred to as the support. Supports can include canvas, paper, or anything used as the first layer for the artwork. From there, artists created narrative works to illuminate their writing. Some words were purposefully obscured, shadowed, and hidden, while others remain vivid and revealed.
Finally, treated as a script, professional performers recorded each piece of the artist’s writing. The audio can stand on its own, yet allows for an intimate experience when listening and simultaneously looking at the accompanying visual artwork.
Background and Inspiration
The idea of tackling grief, apology and healing began after the group’s organizer, Laura Spector, listened to interviews by the sociologist Brené Brown, author of “The Call to Courage”, and Eve Ensler, author of “The Apology” on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast. These themes expanded into an investigation into the study of fragmented thought, which all participating artists have been feeling within their own art-making process. The group was also inspired by artist and author Jenny Odell’s book, “How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy”. Together, the collective realized the answer was to go deeper inward and share our personal truths with our community to find connectedness.
Learn more about the Drawing from the Wound Collective at their website.
Artist's Reception: November 12 2022, 5-7pm