Making art from destruction is a good exercise in catharsis. People do it everyday. The form it takes depends on the physical or emotional or even metaphorical destruction involved. Sometimes all three parts get whipped up together in a single twisting strand.
Today is the third anniversary of our survival of a destructive EF4 tornado. There are a number of after-effects of that event, on any number of levels. One of them is that I don’t like revisiting it much. But when the National Weather Center announced its first Weather Art Biennale, I couldn’t not enter it. And there was only one thing I could paint.
I’m honored that my entry, “Rise”, is not only in the Biennale, but it’s the featured painting in Southwest Art Magazine’s show preview:
We wanted to see the weather depicted not just as a beautiful natural phenomenon, but also something that affects man’s experience of the world.—Alan Atkinson, curator, National Weather Center Biennale
It’s an odd but cathartic feeling to paint that appalling image on canvas (a canvas extracted from the rubble). The updraft of colored paper commemorates artworks gone with the storm, but also, in my own way, a rising sense of whimsy, and a little movement up, out, and onward.