This series of mixed media works was created within two key contexts: the isolation of living through the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice reckoning in our country. Using the isolation of my studio practice this year, I’ve begun to explore how I might connect my art-making to the psychological practice of Shadow Work (looking at my subconscious). Working with the guiding question “How can I use abstraction as a tool for interrogating my shadow and inner self,” I made a shift away from my previous body of work that was more landscape-oriented. As this new series grew, I realized these mixed media paintings are about noticing the patterns and subconscious moves I make out of habit, and then making conscious “turns” away from the comfortable behavior. Making a conscious turn away from learned behavior has also been an entry point for my own white consciousness and anti-racism work. I’m fascinated by starting a painting by disrupting a pristine surface, and then throughout the development I task myself with repair and reinvention. Much of this work I created without a preconceived plan, but instead I engage with a process of transforming my initial disruption creating layers with acrylic paint, cut paper and colored pencil. While the finished work is populated with unnameable forms, it is connected through its study of elemental dualities: strength/weakness, health/sickness and thriving/striving.
-Jamie Treacy, 2021