BFA Exhibition by Haley Franklin
When we lose someone, our lives stop, and our world is momentarily shattered. When one grieves, it is not only for the loss of the individual but is also a process of healing and a return to harmony. The stages of grief: shock, pain, melancholy, anger, reconstruction, upward turn, and acceptance are steps to rebuilding the balance of a fragmented world. Through these stages of grief, one can heal a broken heart. The screen prints in this exhibition are symbolic of my own experiences of coming to terms with grief and loss and the process of healing.
As I drew from my own experiences to create the work in this exhibition, I chose to use female forms as vehicles for expressing these complex emotions. I joined nature-based imagery with the figures and hearts because, for me, the process of grieving and healing is as natural as the flora and fauna found on Earth.
The fragility of the glass specimen jars containing hearts are symbolic of the delicate nature of the a woman’s heart and her emotional state. “Specimen 005”, for example, is symbolic of new life that has been constructed from dead matter. The woman turns away from the bird nest that is her rotting chest cavity, as she is in the midst of the inner struggle and has not yet reached the stage of acceptance. The heart next to her is a decaying log, the food the mushrooms that growing on top of it.
This show expresses my interest in the natural process of grief. I chose screen printing for this series because it gives me the ability to turn my hand drawn and painted images as they appear directly on mylar into stencils that will create multiples. This allows me to capture the nuances of ink drawing, brush strokes, sand paper rubbings, stippling, salt dropped into washes and other hand-applied textures. The drawings are the focus of these works and silkscreen is the vehicle capable of reproducing them. The ability to create multiples allowed me to experiment with color and opacity. I printed each image several times, with varying inks. Each color was chosen as a reflection of the emotion associated with them, such as blue with melancholy.
I work with my hands to rebuild balance within myself. Much like the stages of grief, each layer has healed me and brought me closer to the final stage of acceptance.”