In March of 2020, it was as if the world came to a halt. A pause button made ordinary moments stutter to the unresolved. My natural predilection was to work in my studio every day, to quell my fears, to understand the deeper narrative of what had transpired. It seemed like seeds of inspiration sewn from start to finish could endure any season and still come to fruition.
So there I was, to work as a sculptor-painter, to beg the questions; what is the truth of who I am? And another- do I love this piece?
The work is initiated most of the time with bold ink strokes. It takes a form where I start to interpret it. A drip, wash, smear, drag, of egg tempera, casein, or acrylics painted on mulberry paper activates the surface and formulates the idea. I then collage some of my prints on to the work and add oil pastel or pencil. This is the sculptured part.
These past months revealed surprises as far as my subject matter went; a paradox of sorts. Daemons came first, winged, human bird-like, followed by ships of asylum seekers, and others about equal rights.
My daily writing practice has helped to grapple with these issues, to deepen my perceptions, and to bring them to life in my work.
Renuka O’Connell has been captivated by the spark of self- expression since she was a child. Today she works out of her studio in Waterfront Maine in Brunswick, Maine where she works in paint, words, and embroidery.
Her latest show was dubbed one of the most successful solo exhibits at the Chocolate Church Performance center in Bath ME. She also exhibits monthly at River Arts.
At present, her sewn works on paper are at Markings Gallery.
Her current awards are represented by the Manoogian Museum, Michigan. Her writing and art have been featured three times in the Union of Maine Visual Arts journal while her paintings are currently in eight Social service agencies in Boston where she was a visionary coach for a decade at Turtle Studios.
She has worked for five years with Maine’s Artists Rapid Response team to create banners for non-profit agencies and causes and founded a similar model in Massachusetts.
As a student of Jules Swales Method Writing, she hopes to weave her art and words together into a reenergized voice.