Mariana Trench

16" X 24" Graphite on paper

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The drawing is the first piece of artwork created after the birth of my son. With becoming a father, new responsibilities and an undefined identity provide a relentless wave of change and uncertainty.

Mariana Trench weaves the wisdom of nautical proverbs and restorative optimism into a singular graphite composition. Jason deCaires Taylor, sculptor and environmentalist, whose permanent site-specific sculptural works exhibited in underwater environments, explores conservation and environmental activism provided supporting inspiration.

While not void of elements of environmentalism, my drawing focuses on self-preservation. In the second year of the pandemic, feelings of fading and sinking to a metaphorical abyss were a familiar occurrence. New habits were calcified and the routines within a virtual space often shroud us in a veil of anonymity. We try to not move in efforts to disturb what lurks below.

While much of the drawing was driven by melancholy, I find hope in the words of Wayne Muller. “As the storm rages and the winds howl, the deep waters sway in gentle rhythm, a light movement of fish and plant life. Below there is no storm”

There will forever be storms and conflicts that rage around us, but by learning from the sea and embracing the growth and behavior of coral reefs, our patience will be rewarded with the healing of the past.