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Tori Tinsley

Artist Statement Submitted 2019

This series of work offers abstracted representations of lyrics taken from the American folk song “Down in the Valley”. After hearing a version of this song over and over again while visiting with my mother, who suffers from a degenerative brain disease, I learned the lyrics so that I could sing it with her and also have it in my back pocket for the inevitable funeral service I would need to coordinate. The funeral has not taken place, but I did have a baby in the interim and found myself singing “Down in the Valley” while rocking my newborn to sleep. This bittersweet connection point offered me a space in which to explore the themes of mother and child, life and death, fear and hope. The expressive nature of my new work extends from that place of all-consuming love and highlights how painting can expose the urgency and sincerity of such intimacy.

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