INTERVIEW: David Willis

January 22, 2020

Ibrahim Abusitta

January 15, 2020

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Togetherness

02/22/2019

After a recent move to Ottawa with my partner I have been obsessing over this word, ‘togetherness’, the state of being close to another person or other people.  I think growing up in Newfoundland, you become familiar with the isolation associated with living on an island.  Even if you grew up in a larger town, you still recognize the vastness of the land versus the population and have most likely visited smaller communities on the brink of resettlement.  With this said there is a strong sense of togetherness, not just with those around you,  but a deep embedded connection to the environment. 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I find myself in an urban environment, where the city population is almost double the population for the entire province of Newfoundland & Labrador, yet the state or feeling of togetherness isn’t as strong. Is this because I am new to the city? Is it because I did not grow up here? Is this urban isolation?

 

Growing up I heard other Newfoundlanders speak about this invisible thread that connects us to the island and would tug at us when we are away.  I’ve wondered if everyone feels that pull to their home. 

 

I’ve been using my time in the studio to explore these new feelings.  This past week I’ve been thinking about the functions of art. For me, it has always been an outlet to work through my feelings and thoughts to try and find answers or just peace of mind. Throughout the years my imagery and aesthetics have changed, sometimes dramatically, however the purpose art has in my life has remained the same.  I have always found my way out of difficult times through paint.  I like to think of the act or experience of creating as a conversation.  I find myself responding to marks and being challenged by surface outcomes. 

 

As I continue to prepare for my upcoming exhibtion in April with Jones Gallery, I hope to find clarity in the images I’m painting that help me discern my thoughts and bring to the surface my intentions and sentiments.

 

more to come...

 

 

 

 

 

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