2022 Schaefer Portrait Challenge Jurors' Choice Award

The Gilded Fly

2022

Mixed Media on Wood

This self-portrait address the challenges presented to me in 2021, with a world pandemic, my breast cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy, and a  double mastectomy. In the beginning, the cancer treatment seemed like it might be unbearably difficult, but the experience proved to be something of an adventure, with emotional support from places I never expected. In this work, I am anticipating deep waters, buoyed by the glow of the life-preserver's support. However, a mere leap over a lawn sprinkler is all that's needed, yet I'm uncertain of what may lurk beyond.
I feel that the artist's job is done when the work itself has the last word, unencumbered by the artist hand, yet in harmony with their intention. Upon pouring resin, this piece still hadn't spoken-- that is, until an errant fly became entrenched in a bad situation, joining me in my observations that "stuff papers" and like Japanese Kintsugi, we can gild that experience.
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-Sally French

66" x 44" x 3"