Diane Williams + Chuck Potter: Ancestral Convergence
FLASH EXHIBITION: MARCH 23-29 | OPENING RECEPTION: SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 5:00 - 7:00
"The name of my studio is I AN I. It is a version of the Jamaican Rastafarian term “I and I”. Living in Jamaica for 10 years as a young woman, I adopted the concept of “I and I”. To paraphrase the words of Rastafari scholar E. E. Cashmore: “I and I is an expression to totalize the concept of oneness..... I and I means that God is within all...”
I have come to realize that “I and I” also encompasses a relationship with our ancestors. Our DNA connects us with our familial history going back to the dawn of time and we carry the wisdom of the ancients in our genes. Additionally our ancestors include our artistic influences whether related by blood or simply a connection of the heart and a common bond.
My recent work is an exploration of my ancient roots as a weaver, and a farmer. Pieces like “The Gatekeeper” and “Weaver’s Tale” use hand cut stencil and scrappers to mimic patterns and folds of fabric. “Woven Field” pays tribute to the fertile soil where life springs forth in the form of flowers. “The Three Graces” harkens back to to Asian ancestery, honoring the Bird and Flower painters of China.
My pallate of rich earth tones, and rust draws a connection with the land and the patina of time. Large brusbstrokes are my physical relationship with my work, mapping my journery as an artist. I have become acutely aware as a mature artist, that my future is merely a continuation of the ancient past and we are all connected by common threads." —Diane Williams
"I believe in a creative source greater than myself. Painting is my spiritual practice, a form of prayer that connects me to my ancestors. I speak of ancestors as those influences that are passed down through generations not only in the physical sense of DNA, but also through shared experience that I like to reference as shared consciousness. My approach to the canvas invites a gathering of my ancestors into a shared vision where I can embrace a larger creative energy. I can paint surfaces and textures abstracted from nature and beyond where beauty is more complicated than something that is pleasing to the eye. Consider the grandeur of a mountain range in contrast with the surfaces, textures, and color of rocks found in a creek. Both the mountain and the rock share a common source, but I respond differently to each of them. Using homemade rust solutions, sumi ink, acrylic paints, and other mixed media on a wet plaster surface, I can record my own body movements and responses into the surface. The marks I leave behind become a journal of my shared ancestral experience and an invitation for the viewer to partake." —Chuck Potter