How It Happened

While in residence at PADA Studios in Barreiro, Portugal, I explored the dystopian landscape of what used to be the SOTINCO paint factory.

Inspired by a monumental set of now dingy and broken windows, I built a grid-like frame to mimic not just the physical structure of the 4x3 pane, but also to re-create the visual conversation the broken glass created between surface and that which lies beyond.

To fill the frames I created oil paintings referencing specific dreams, memories, and felt experiences that took place during my residency at PADA. I also stretched raw canvas stained with leftover paint - a remnant, but also a beginning. The paintings became windows which I placed within the frame, memories held within a structure, broken by spaces that I intentionally left empty. These rectangles of emptiness became access points to what exists beyond the constructed grid.

I returned to the paint factory to install the new “windows” where each change in location transformed the piece. The empty windows provided a glimpse into what existed behind the structure, and as it shifted, so did the experience of viewing the paintings and how they exist within the grid. The paintings’ conversation with their surroundings as well as each other was in constant flux despite the rigidity of the grid frame.

While making this work I was exploring the sensual experience of remembrance and glimpse that memory provides of our entire lived experience, our identity. And it shifts. Past experiences come in and out of view and are capable of changing depending on what (memory, experience, event, conversation, person, emotional trigger) they are next to. The fluidity of our internal composition is not really at the mercy of a constructed surface, but rather what lies beneath it.