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A Sense of Wonder | by Kay Danley

Central Gallery

Artist Statement
Wonder: “a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable”
What is it to be alive? How do moments that affect us give rise to meaning and memory? And how do we as individuals maintain and cherish a sense of wonder in our world?
In our troubled times, a sense of wonder in our everyday lives often becomes inconspicuous given the stresses, problems and tragedies of our world. The momumentality of a landscape, it’s intimate reflections and shadows, the gesture of a child on a summer’s day, the joy of wind and sea, the loneliness of feeling isolated, this is the grist of life. Where do I find a ‘sense of wonder’, and how do I express this state? Herein lies a point of departure, an opportunity to visually interpret a special moment. It might seem that exploring this theme is trivial. There is no grand societal message in these reflections. However, art and painting can help us explore our humanity. What could be more important?
The series “ A Sense of Wonder” began as a result of my interest in the stage of life that begins as innocent, mysterious and magical, and transitions gradually into knowledge that experience and people are not always what they seem or should be. Confusion and doubt arise and innocence is eventually challenged. My interest is in the internal dialog that results from the transition and how to express that.
I consider myself a process artist, what activity there is on the canvas or panel is not planned. It is intuitive and experimental in nature. It takes many sessions to wrestle with the piece to make it my own. I find the layers of frequent failure interesting and part of the process. I usually respond to something visual in my world, an interaction, a gesture, a feeling, a subtle shift of some kind, anything that comes to the surface. I use all resources available to help me express what has energized me. My work usually has some semblance of representation, it is connected to the world of reality but is highly interpretive.
Drawing is important as a fresh and accessible portal to the intuition. With drawing, there is no brush or tool separating the creative experience from the surface. It is immediate and powerful. I use drawing to inform my paintings, to work out ideas without hesitation. The only tool is usually a small piece of charcoal that seems part of the hand. And the hand connects directly to the first impulse.The lump of dusty charcoal is the substance that makes a mark, but it also becomes a flying planet, a meander through a summer meadow, the boom of the surf or the bubbling of an approaching wave.
Kay Henning Danley 2018

Artist Reception on October 5th: 5-8pm