Saturday, January 26, 2019

Artist statement - CARE at Hudson Hall at the Historic Opera House, Hudson, NY

Opening reception on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 5 to 7 p.m., featuring a 6:30 p.m performance by pianist Michael S. Jaynes. 
The exhibition runs through Sunday, March 17
Hudson Hall, 327 Warren St., Hudson.

Artist statement  
Maryna Bilak


The reality of caring for someone with advanced Alzheimer's is more insane than any work of fiction. I tried to convince myself that my studio was my “happy place” and that art-making was my rescue. But my thoughts all focused on the everyday experience of sharing an intimate space with someone who is physically and mentally disabled. When the energy of denial exhausted itself, I decided to embrace my reality and consciously navigate and dedicate my creativity. Suddenly everything made sense. I stared and began to see patterns in my artwork from the last five years—the time I have lived with my mother-in-law. She became my model, and the body I watched and touched so many times became an inspiration for the active studio process.

The work I have done for this project is only a tiny expression of my experience which is as complex as it is difficult to define. The verities of the materials speak to the endless cycle of care. Using different media allowed me to work through different emotions. Clay, plaster, charcoal, acrylic, wood, cloth, nails, lime, pigments among others learned to coexist.

There are no words and there are no colors to represent the tragedy of Alzheimer’s disease and the impact it has on people providing care. But no matter what the subject is, for an artist, good form comes first. Without a good form there is no content.

This show is a resolution: to decline to be a hero and refuse to be a victim. Every piece contributed to my process of releasing strong, repressed emotions as a caregiver, as a daughter-in-law and as a wife. Preparation for this show provided relief and served as catharsis of all the struggle and frustration.

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