CAROL BAJEN-GAHM – Outport Bonavista
Dark, confined spaces, tangled roots, wells, and caves have always attracted me. These are often the settings for fairy tales with their indifference to time and space; dreams hold an equal fascination for me. I explore these indeterminate places, both in myself and in nature. These dark places, tangles, fairy tales and dreams all can engender fear and with work, lead to a deeper understanding.
Places engulf me. I see them through time, from many scales and vantage points: the land, the buildings, the weather, the artifacts. the people, the history, the soil; the sounds and smells. I take them all in. I collect ideas, images, memories, photographs, and artifacts and start to build a painting.
Once the often-diverse and contrasting elements are placed, my process becomes geologic, a back and forth between deposition and erosion, until a balance appears between form and color.
In the Root Cellar Meditation series, I began by making Sumi Ink contact prints of seaweed, which was used by outport Newfoundlanders as fertilizer, and netting, which was a crop protector.
For the Encounters: Duntara and Keels series, I printed tangled grasses and artifacts such as barrel hoops, pitchfork tines and fishnets: all elements of this remote village.
Although the paintings are abstract, they are the result of a deep act of seeing.