University of Richmond
In the past year, painting at the river has become a pilgrimage that connects me with the social and physical landscapes of my watershed. On one hand, this practice challenges me to engage deeply with the reality of the places I inhabit—both with the joys and challenges, and the strengths and opportunities for growth that come from being in a community. On the other hand, calling myself a pilgrim also carries the Catholic Church’s troubling legacies of colonialism and dominion over the land. Working through these tensions is a pilgrimage in itself, but these paintings have become companions on my journey toward discerning how to collectively respond to challenges, even in the midst of physical and social distancing. Layers of oil and watercolor paint and paper repurposed from Ash Wednesday bulletins slowly retrace paths in response to their surrounding forms—the surface’s history— in order to create an interconnected flow. As the community of currents on the canvas merge into one another, I recognize unjust structures I take for granted in daily life and the need to dismantle these through intentional gestures and practices of pilgrimage.