Wendy Ackrell's Artist Statement: Over the course of this pandemic I’ve gotten away from the near-total abstraction I’d been exploring for the last two decades. Something about the ubiquity of this worldwide trauma pushed me to be more literal, even as my paintings have been moving towards two dimensionality. I wasn’t intending to investigate painting in a naive, almost childlike style, but somehow that was what emerged.
Although I’ve always painted with the hope of achieving a kind of communion with the viewer, I’ve been struck by an even greater longing to communicate and make myself clearly understood than in calmer, less tumultuous times. This has led to me finding my way back to figuration in the hopes of speaking even more directly with others.
Wendy Ackrell's Project Statement: Portrait of a Midlife Woman This piece is part of a series I began last year called EverythingIsFine, a meditation on loss and resilience that has helped sustain me during this long, strange season.
In these paintings, vases are perched precariously on edges of tables; flowers droop; objects are in the process of falling into space; others are mended imperfectly but lovingly with the deeply meditative Japanese art of repair, kintsugi.
When I find myself overwhelmed by all the dark and broken parts of this world, I remind myself of these words from “Anthem” by the great songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen: Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.