The Union: A New Point of View – Sharna Fabiano

Sharna Fabiano

Since we had to postpone our first art show—The Union—we’ve decided to turn this into an opportunity to digitally showcase all the artists who’d submitted to the show. We’ve asked the artists to write about their experiences over the last few weeks, how they’re feeling and coping, or what kind of work has the self-quarantine and social distancing inspired?

Sharna Fabiano

Even though I am used to working alone at home, the lock down has provoked a real, physical anxiety in me that I’ve never experienced before. It wakes me up in the early hours of the morning with tightness in my chest, but as I lie nestled in my blankets, I also feel more blessed and grateful for my life than ever before. It’s very clarifying, that gratitude, and it’s giving me a much stronger focus on my creative work.

I think of my painting as an active version of my meditation practice, and so I’m always curious about how my inner state influences my artistic choices, and vice versa. Right now, I’m definitely feeling how art-making calms my anxiety. It encourages my feelings to flow through my body without getting stuck.

But I’m also noticing that I’m drawn to try out a range of new materials and new tools right now. It feels like time for me to move into new territory artistically, just as we’re all shifting into new territory socially and politically together.

And speaking of new territory, I actually spent the month of February of this year visiting India, just before international travel ground to a halt. While there, I was inspired by images of the lotus flower. It’s one of the most powerful symbols in Hinduism and in Indian culture, representing the emergence of enlightened consciousness from its roots in the muddy swamp of everyday existence.

It is, quite literally, beauty rising out of the darkness. ⁠That feels so appropriate right now, as I’m envisioning the same possibility for the human family. So last week, I made the lotus the theme of a new series of mixed media works on paper. The images included here are works-in-progress from that series, the Lotus Series.

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