If the last year and a half has shown me, it’s that slow living really does give us an opportunity to get into a rhythm and carve the time out for intricate pieces to emerge. I have been juggling motherhood with my artistic endeavors for the past 14 years, it is a constant jigsaw puzzle of how to get the pieces to stay together for enough time to get work done. The fact that everyone just had to stop and be home made it possible for me to return to these obsessive pieces I have been working on, through abstract work and through abstract figures. I sometimes work from photos of nature, I love getting close up to a plant and distort the eye of where you are in the world. Sometimes the ideas are just from what churns in my brain when I squint and distort the world around me. Distilled down to colors and shapes that can be gentle and dynamic at the same time. I love the intricacies of the natural world, the shapes and light.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Originally, I am from the NJ/NY area, currently in CA. I do a lot of exploring of family history, the history of the Armenian people and the diaspora. I’m currently studying one of my native languages, Western Armenian (Բարէւ). Collecting the stories: the beauty and the pain, the loss and death, and the survival and success. I’m so lucky to be a part of a group of Armenians and Turkish people who are willing to come together to heal and share stories. Being Jewish from Galicia/the Ukraine as well adds it’s extra flavor of guilt, shame and pain, which is also part of the exploration. Also the fear of being found. I struggle with what being “American” means. We were infused with so much shame, from the food we ate, the rituals, the “where are you from?” obvious you don’t belong here vibe. But to keep forcing ourselves to “fit in” out of fear, fear of being found, of being caught, killed. But in trying to cover ourselves, we lost ourselves. Art has always been there for me, I have been working all my life and inspired by the patterns of rugs, deep rich colors from the middle east, and family stories that weave into the patterns.
© Emily Keyishian