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1b. Terra Incognita II.jpeg

Artist's Statement

My vision is to use ART as a means to make emotional sense of what appears, on its surface to be senseless: climate change denial and its effects, the coronavirus in this country and its needless spread because of anti-vaxxers and ignorance; political division and its subsequent voter suppression, Roe v. Wade in danger of annihilation, thinly veiled and not-so-thinly veiled racism, and ageism. 

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About the Artist

Thema, this year.

Having experienced childhood trauma and dislocation, I used art as a tool for coping and transcendence... Before my teens, I was already buffeted by two vastly different countries and cultures. By the time I was a teenager in England, the third vastly different country and culture, I was drawing for meditation and self-care/comfort. My teachers recognized my gift for drawing and suggested that I apply to art school.

After graduating from St. Martins School of Art, I settled in Bennington, Vermont where I became immersed in depicting the landscapes of New England and the South West. These were commercially successful at the time: I was granted an art fellowship and several solo shows in prominent New York galleries.  

More than a decade later I moved to New York City and then to upstate New York, where my work changed dramatically: I began to experiment with fabric collages, creating imaginary cities, 'Cities of Dreams', and exploring metaphysical and spiritual themes through Biblical allegories. In noticing the vast differences in the topography of these newer surroundings, I focused more on rock formations and landscapes rather than the willowing grasses, forests, and fields I painted in Vermont. My visceral painterly approaches to the 9-11 tragedy were done during this period, as well. 

Dislocation occurred again in 2003 when I moved to Waterbury Connecticut. I soon experienced the loss of a loved one and began to work through grief by painting a series of images depicting the 22 Major Arcana of the Tarot: The human journey from birth to death. (Highlighted in a solo show "Milestones"). Soon after, I became interested in aspects of time: temporal and eternal, which initiated a series of paintings on the theme of time; the Times Square series, which were both symbolic and representational (temporal). Eternal time was expressed in a series of large gestural abstractions symbolizing Cosmic time. 

The latest paintings and collages depict the adverse consequences of environmental degradation by climate change and human greed. This interest in social narrative is evident in the vignettes of the LIFE in COVID painting. 

Thema at her easel in 2021

To contact the artist:

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