Friday, June 09, 2006

A metaphor for life

Above: Passport, 2005 by Teresa Eaton, mixed media on canvas: acrylic, handmade paper, hand-sculpted polymer clay face, copper leaf, wood, fabric, thread, found objects. 12" x 12" x 2.5"

When I first met Teresa Eaton, I liked her immediately. She is, of course, a nice person. She is also straightforward and very real. And she is very open about her struggle with breast cancer. Here's a quote from the KPFA Crafts and Music Fair site:

"Teresa Eaton gives new life to things that are dying…a metaphor for her life."

"When diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer five years ago, the Santa Clara artist decided to make a radical change in her work. Today, she’s making large, mixed-media collages created from worked and reworked paper, items collected from nature and recyclable items. “I credit the excitement for starting this work for bringing me back to the living,” comments Eaton."

Teresa is very sensitive to her materials. Objects are arranged according to some internal pattern that conveys a sense of order coming out of chaos. Looking at her work, I feel every part has a secret and important message encoded in it.

I admire Teresa so much because she is open about her experiences. She is a tremendous inspiration to me, and to many other people. I think big life events can wrench out of artists a big change in their work. Or some new connection with a desire to create. It's as if, facing death and looking at it square on, we need to make life. It's precious, it's fragile and it's incredibly beautiful.

I am very sad to say that Teresa's breast cancer is back, she is undergoing more chemotherapy right now. I'm thinking good thoughts for her, she is a lovely person. The world is full of beautiful things she has created.

Here are some links to her work:

KPFA Crafts and Music Fair
The Human Artefacts Exhibition (scroll down to see an image that enlarges when clicked)
8th International Collage Exhibition & Exchange

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