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Tenacious Escapism

To be tenacious is to hold onto something that is of great value.
Escapism is the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities.
Tenacious Escapism is my attempt to maintain a normal, functional life while grasping the implications and ultimate consequences of profoundly difficult events that seemed to rain down, incessantly, throughout the past twelve months.
These events were sudden, shocking and beyond my control, and the tenacity I found myself having to exert to hold on to my soul and my physical life while dealing with these problems was, in retrospect, a profoundly strengthening experience.
Paradoxically, the manner in which I was able to be tenacious about functioning normally was by employing my great skills at using escape mechanisms. Escapism, by my definition, was running away to anything art. Teaching art, talking about art, learning about art... As long as I found myself obsessing about art, I could forge an unremarkable existence.
In Tenacious Escapism, I am escaping into the curvy, nurturing forms of nature in the million-year-old ammonite fossils, hoping to begin anew after a profoundly challenging year. The spiraling shape of the ammonite alludes to the cyclical nature of life - the threatening whirlpool of adversity and the abyss into which one can be pulled. It invites thoughts of a comforting embrace around the body of one who assumes the fetal position in an attempt to escape suffering. The ancient shells of these extinct creatures serve as a reminder that grace, calm and beauty preserve the soul forever. - 2010