“The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.”
The deep of winter, those slow and quiet moments between the glow of the holidays and the first timid rays of springtime sun. Now is the time when the natural world slumbers and yet we carry on. No den to wrap us in its musty warmth until the icy jaws of the season ease. Rather we must keep on with our daily work, our lives filled with needs that must be met. And so we lean in close to this time, find ways around the paralysis of snow and ice and freezing temperatures. We cozy in our homes, bring light and warmth to our daily activities, step outside when the sun appears, however weak. Perhaps we have not stepped so far outside the natural rhythm, rather we have invited it into our homes.
Mark Gerard Brogan spoke to us from Belgrade in early January of 2021. He reported that people there were being very careful about the ongoing pandemic. Despite it being Orthodox Christmas Day when we spoke, he said the surroundings were very quiet. Brogan, a British artist, completed an exhibition in 2020 titled After Lockdown. His work was an installation of photo wallpaper. The work was based around the phenomenon during lockdown in which people began caring more about nature. He completed another exhibition in September for which there was no opening and viewings were by appointment only. This has become the standard practice for galleries in the area. Brogan has also had some of his work disrupted due to the pandemic – a public art project was abruptly canceled in the early days of the virus. To hear more about his work, including his collaboration with an architect to create building-size works of art, as well as how he has navigated this difficult time, listen to the complete interview.
Josepha Gutelius spoke with us at the end of 2020. At that time she described the vision for her new series, Inhabiting New Earth. Of late she has been considering the younger generation and the burdens they carry and feeling a measure of guilt as a baby boomer for her generation’s part in some of that. Gutelius runs a bed and breakfast during the summer and spent time sketching her younger guests and thinking about the life ahead of them. Her works are figurative with a narrative to them. For her current series, her subjects appear to be lounging but they are not relaxed. An important element of the work is the light that surrounds the figures in each work and Gutelius is considering how to convey her whole message, much of which involves Gaia and the shifts presently taking place in the world. To hear more about this, as well as why the beginning of the pandemic felt like the aftermath of a blizzard in the Hudson Valley, listen to the complete interview.
Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
Invite the season.
Books to Read
What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Mark Gerard Brogan Elementary Forms of Religious Life by Emile Durkheim. Josepha Gutelius recommends Elegance of the Hedgehog by Mureil Barbery.
Delaware Valley Arts Alliance is currently accepting applications for 2022 exhibitions. Spots are available for solo, two-person, group and curated exhibitions. Both emerging and established artists are encouraged to apply, particularly those who live in the Mid-Hudson, Catskill, or Upper Delaware River regions. Installations and proposals by curators are also invited to apply. For more information, visit the website. Deadline for applications is February 13.
Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis Center for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists; Making it in the Art World, New Markets for Artists, The Art World Demystified, Fund Your Dreams Like a Creative Genius, Sell Online Like a Creative Genius, and Succeed with Social Media Like a Creative Genius.