My friend Ambler Hutchinson is having an exhibit at Florida Mining Gallery. The opening is this Friday night, but the show runs until February 15th, so if you can – click on the link above for more information and go see it. I have done a lot of the writing for the event (Press Release, Arbus Magazine cover story, Artist Statement, etc.) so I feel invested.
The show is remarkable – Ambler takes us on a visual journey into the black depression, anxiety and mental illness she experiences with Bipolar II and back out again to a place of hope. I relate to her bravery, because she is telling her story with her art in order to shed light on those who suffer in silence: something I have tried to do with my writing…
As you might imagine, some of the images are dark.
I can be accused of a lot of controversial things, not the least of which is looking at the marketing materials for something as heartfelt as this exhibit and saying, “We need color. We need to send out some marketing pieces with color. Color people …” I’m like the guy in the SNL skit asking for “more cowbell” – I truly believe the message is the medium and I felt that we were showcasing the bleakest images and neglecting the more whimsical, hopeful images I relate to these days.
There is a reason I love the piece above. It is colorful, to be sure, but I love it because of its vulnerability. I suppose great works of art can be interpreted many ways, because the viewer feels a connection to the underlying message. I love this piece because of the expression on Butterfly Man’s face – he’s not exactly jubilant, but he’s flying. And he’s tethered to the ground… I want him.
I believe the most important things, when trying to overcome great obstacles, are truth and community. I feel this with all my heart – its why Ambler’s art resonates in a universal way. We all struggle, we soldier on and we rely on our loved ones to help us get to the next step. Thanks to the following:
Tape South – In Honor of Kathy Shane
Today I’m not drinking because I’m going to Ambler’s show Friday.
How come you’re not drinking?