Gwynneth VanLaven

Found object, Lost confidence (2020)
inkjet print
20 x 36 in.

There is a joy to getting lost and reveling in the not-knowingness of it. I often feel lost, swimming in delirious uncertainty. I take detours, I am a squiggly tangent, I am a scatter plot. Thus I feel loss in my body. Just the word feels like the moment the elevator takes a sudden, unexpected descent. From limb to loved ones to my favorite mug, things I’ve lost however distant touch my core. The lives lost to COVID, to race-based violence and institutionalized inequities, the many victims of so many (now stat-sanctioned or state-enacted) -isms

I’m always a little lost. And I always need to know where home is. I am driving in a new city and have no idea how one place relates to another. I have to go home to find my way to the next place. Home is my hub. To there and back to center, repeat.

Recent loss, these deaths, our potential for hate, all our fragilities. Loss feels like the moment the elevator takes a sudden, unexpected descent. “Whoa,” my stomach eeks nausea as I put on a brave face for the other passengers. Disorientation. Alienation. The elevator teases a free-fall. My heart plummets, and I watch myself and others don “brave.” Alien to each other, individualized terror. Fragmentation. Social distance. I grieve my sense of connection alone. The elevator dips as I step on. The sign says “maintain six feet” but the elevator is around 4 x 4. Going down, I hold my breath floor by floor. It reminds me with each drop. We are all so temporarily, held, suspended.

artist’s website

© Gwynneth VanLaven