Paintings from a Rugosa Rose
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Paintings from a Rugosa Rose

Paintings from a Rugosa Rose, 2008 (a commission to benefit the Hyde Park Art Center). Text from the Not Just Another Pretty Face catalogue interview.

What interested you most about the Not Just another Pretty Face project?

Colleen Coyne and her mother described their shared experience with Colleen's grandmother of perceiving rugosa roses bloom, fade and mature during summers in Maine. They suggested that we work with the colors of the rugosa rose and their shared experience to represent three generations of women. The challenge of representing three women, connected and distinct, with only the colors of one fading flower, inspired us.

Have any unexpected outcomes/surprises come from this commissioning process? If so, explain.

The strict parameters of the commission rather than restricting the possibilities of what a painting could be opened up our practice immeasurably. One color idea essentially lent itself to a wide variety of meanings. We found that the rigid specificity of the parameters - three women, one rose - led us to many pictorial ideas about ways we connect to each other.

Describe a high moment that came from participating in this project/working with your patrons.

Two incredible moments: (i) Receiving a box of extremely fragrant roses from Mrs. Coyne, each flower wrapped and lovingly cared for, humbled me and revealed to me that Mrs. Coyne's care for these flowers corresponds directly with my artistic practice.(ii)Mrs. Coyne, after visiting the studio to see the project, had a strong reaction. The paintings evoked a lot of shared memories and ideas, and it seemed as if Mrs. Coyne saw her mother, her self and her daughter in the paintings or as if the paintings clearly represented her memory of sharing Maine with her family. This made us feel deeply connected to her even though we are strangers to each other.

Did you learn anything about yourself from this experience? If so, explain.

The Cream Co. mode of production is often seen as directed by Marie. For this project, other individuals imagined various resolutions based on the commissioned narrative. The project revealed to us qualities of the shared nature of the Cream Co. practice.

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