SHAWNA KHALILY– STATEMENT

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shawna khalily

What is human?  What is human. Human figures, human bodies acting out the human condition on paper and blocks of wood. I am woodcutter second, a figure-drawer first. I have learned just recently after 25 years fueled by music, poetry, dreams and drawing bodies how to connect my pencil to my heart-brain and speak further, deeper. There is a sense of rejoining, a feeling acquired in my discipline which releases the figures to match the muses conjured in dreams and witnessed in life's procession. Martyred saints and angels of the upper air, to haunting demons, rabid dogs, dancing jesters, impish ghosts ... or simply us. Any of us, playing out the whole landscape of human interaction: falling in love, going to war, being converted, ascending, stumbling and with hope, evolving. The ways we connect and reject, toil, turn and return, the ways we torture and nurture, maneuver, rejoice and learn. The ways we live, die, and survive. Like the gift-wrapping around souls who bond, respond and belong to one another, I'm into the way bodies look when they live. I carve them as they visit me.

Rilke suggests, If we love the questions of the deepest human mysteries enough, if we are engaged enough, if we have solitude enough, if we are poised enough to listen, then I imagine, if we posit these questions with enough truth in each picture, as he says, "You will live your way into the answers". Making pictures for me is the best way I know to live through the most human questions, the intensity, the curiosity, the confusion and amazement about the essence of hearts, and of purely "being."

* EX VOTO is my print stamp and it is the name of my gallery in my home town, Louisville Kentucky. It's latin and means a work of art as a gift or a sacred offering.

 

ALL IMAGES AND SELECTED TEXT ARE RIGHTS PROTECTED AND MAY NOT BE USED OR REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION © 2006 SHAWNA KHALILY / WD – MOTHDUST