reconnecting . . .





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oil paintings (visual works)


Art and Design | Art Practice | Painting


2/4, oil on canvas, measures 16 by 20 inches.

Artist Statement
To Grieve Means to Love

This body of work requires some context of my past endeavors. A very clear representation of such is the travel journal and short film I created following the handful of months I spent in New Zealand. The film, titled The Year without Summer, is an accumulation of journal pages of drawings and writing I worked on while I was there, music that was the soundtrack of my adventures, and videos and photos taken during that time. My own memories, ever shifting, are physically manifested and contrasted with how they are documented in the journal and the tone of the music and videos. This film and the journal itself provide context for the paintings that make up the rest of my portfolio.

My subject is myself. To understand my work, it is vital to gain some understanding of who I am. My name is Caroline, I am studying Studio Art, Visual Studies, and Marketing, and I come from a particularly large family. I’ve never been very far from home. However, life is short, the world is large, and nothing you can do can stop the constant stream of time. I decided to go abroad, specifically to New Zealand, because of my family. Four years ago, my brother passed away due to suicide. Since that day, death has been a voice whispering in the wind. My family took her advice: to take every opportunity and to always love one another. My brother, never far from my thoughts, was one of the main motivators in choosing to go to New Zealand. Associating him with the beauty I found there was a way to better understand myself and my grief. This collection of work is a way to look deeper inside myself in order to start processing my own identity and trauma through visual means.

Memories are important, especially during this time of unrest. I’m interested in how memories change through time and reflection, especially those born from my time abroad and what emotions come from that experience. There is no one way to interpret a memory, just as there is no one way to interpret a piece of art. Reality is not set in stone. How do pieces connect with each other and connect further to my identity? How does time change the understanding of something?

My portfolio first and foremost is a way to begin to look at my own identity as it is influenced by trauma, situations and adventures I experience. It almost seems narcissistic, but I fully embrace this time in my life where everything may be uncertain. I am fortunate enough to have an outlet in art to explore my experiences, despite current events of a global pandemic. Art has always been an important tool in self-discovery and expression. My intentions are to use my own image to express larger themes that hold importance to myself.


This work appeared in reconnecting . . ., the 2020 Thesis and Portfolio Exhibition at Linfield College. Image courtesy of Caroline Hall.


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