Art Reception: Resiliency of the Human Spirit
July 13, 2023
Location: LabCentral 700 Main Street
Our perceptions are shaped through our experiences within our bodies, but how are these perceptions shifted when faced with experiences of chronic illness and disability? This exhibition explores the work of two artists with disabilities, providing a glimpse into the mind and spirit of human resiliency and our tendency to search for light amidst darkness.
Jessica Vohs, born with cerebral palsy, is physically unable to speak and works with very limited mobility. With assistance in the studio, she utilizes art as a primary means of expression. Despite countless physical challenges Vohs overcomes daily to create her work, you would never see that in her paintings. Instead, you see her affinity for beauty and love of life. She highlights the magic of small moments, painted in a way that feels fleeting and dreamlike. She chooses not to focus on disability as subject matter, instead she digs deeper, focused on capturing the soul and the interconnectedness between each other and the universe.
In contrast, Moriah Faith’s artwork confronts the ugliest realities of living with chronic pain in a way that is visually striking. After being diagnosed with a rare chronic illness at the age of thirteen, Faith became obsessed with painting for its ability to express feelings impossible to put into words. Using her own “damaged” body as reference, her approach to the canvas is aggressive, brutalizing carefully rendered flesh with thick globs of paint. Defining features of portraits are often distorted, destroyed, or obstructed, suggesting a fractured experience of self. Figures emerge that appear raw and vulnerable; present – yet drifting. Her work dives into the depth of illness, not to paint a silver lining around it, but in a desperate attempt to find strength in sickness, and purpose for the pain.
This collection of works highlights the duality of both suffering and beauty contained simultaneously within the human condition. The paintings you see in this exhibition are a manifestation of hundreds of hours in the studio, accomplished by pushing through pain and physical barriers, to step into a realm where we are limitless: Art.