Wrapping up a Residency – Jessica Taylor Hale

Death needs time to grow the things that it will kill.

Think about it.  All of life is a constant cycle.  And when I say life I don’t just mean humanity, I mean life as a whole. Every living organism on this planet is caught in this same cycle of growing, deteriorating, dying, decomposing, and eventually making way for something else to live.  But death doesn’t happen without the growth and growth doesn’t happen without time.   Death needs time.  Death needs time to grow the things that it will kill.

That is the title for a current piece I’m developing.  A piece that requires time.  Time and patience.  Like much of my work, without the element of time, this piece wouldn’t have the chance to grow and change, because it involves seeds being sprouted and young plants being grown. Lately I’ve been thinking about my work in terms of what it requires of time.  What does it ask of time?  How is it dependent upon it?  And how does it change given time?  It’s fascinating to realize just how much of what makes up our universe is deeply dependent upon time; light needs time to travel, fruits and vegetables need time to complete photosynthesis, paint needs time to dry, the heart needs time to heal.

We all need something from time.  Some of us need time to recover from an illness, some need it to lose weight, or to nurture a pregnancy we’ve longed for. Some need time to forgive, or to slow down, to grow out of old habits, to forget, and some of us need time to learn how to love.  But we’re all operating in terms of time and our relationship to it.

So what it is that you need from time right now?

Right now I need time to develop a larger portfolio.   With hopes of pursuing an MFA on the horizon, I’d like to spend the next year or so continuing to push myself deeper and create a more substantial body that represents the direction I want to go.

TIME here in the residency at Mana Contemporary is quickly coming to a close. And I am so thankful for this experience.  Like my plants, I’ve grown in immense and surprising ways.  I am very pleased with the work I’ve completed and the pieces I’ve been able to add to my portfolio during this dedicated stretch of time.  I feel like a fresh wind has been let loose beneath me.  With just a few weeks left to work and then the artist talk/reception in December, I am feeling the pressure to wrap up and complete projects I want to exhibit for the closing reception.

Thank you to ISC and Mana for granting me this privilege.  I have benefitted from the knowledge, connections, and accessibility that Mana offers.  Further, I’ve been reminded of just how much my soul beats to be in connection with other artists who love what they do as much as I do.  The friendships that have grown over this short expanse of time have been most valuable and inspiring.  The feedback and critique from these new friends as they have watched my work develop has been so helpful. And somewhere along the way I began to let certain work die off and other work take root.  But it wasn’t until I let all the ideas have presence that I could distinguish the good from the bad, the ones I would let live from the ones I would let die.  In a sense, I think I needed this time to grow the things that I would kill.  And what lives in its place is all the better for it.

Time very well spent.

By Jessica Taylor Hale

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