COVID positive, bored but with low energy, I decided last winter to re-archive more than 500 of my drawings made between 1993 and the present.
Something happened to me as I started going through the boxes and hard drives. The years leading up to that moment had paved the way for a breakthrough / breakdown. The pandemic, politics, civil rights and unrest, deaths in the family – the list of pressures went on and on. At some point, “coping and adapting” had become the name of the game, at least for me.
The prior five years or so, I had been focused on filmmaking (and work and life and everything else), but after going through my old work – literally and figuratively opening up those boxes – I was inspired to start drawing again.
It took a while, but after a few weeks of daily drawing, the ideas started flowing and the dexterity came back. And then it just exploded, and everything just poured out. I could see into things that had previously been opaque. I could express what I was seeing around me and inside me.
I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past year. I recently came out as Trans/Non-Binary. That’s been a big one. Even though I hadn’t totally figured it out back then, there were plenty of glimpses and moments of queerness in those boxes, which I cherish now as I look back at my younger self.
I had another big realization after adopting our 4th cat, when a student told me that I was “really turning into a cat person.” It was funny and true. I was definitely in the thick of a “turning.”
Most of the works in this show are from the past year, but I’ve included a group of drawings from the 90s that I feel are connected to my current work and provide some context.
Personally, it’s been a hell of an experience crawling back into the mind of my past self, crawling out, and then crawling back into the mind of my present-day self. I hope it’s quite an experience for you, too.