With pieces that reflect the artist’s heritage, family, spirituality, celebration and struggle, Joyce McEwan Crawford is showing viewers her personal Metamorphosis in her solo show now on display at the Triton Museum of Art.
Crawford, a resident of San Jose, breast cancer survivor who is 22 years in remission and retired social worker with the County of Santa Clara, has chosen a collection of work that was created in the six years since her retirement for Metamorphosis – meditative pieces that come from Vedic philosophy, works that celebrate life, paintings of her family members and a self-portrait that was part of the Triton’s Statewide Painting Competition and Exhibition in 2012 – all with the mission of telling her story through art and written word.
“You don’t just want to show the viewer what’s going on on the outside,” she says, “you want them to be able to see within so that having the courage to put whatever is inside of you – that expression and feeling – and this is all about my four years of economic hardship and depression and wanting to have the courage to put that out there. Then, at the end, with Metamorphosis, it shows the celebration of that. I’m free. I want the viewer to have that experience as well. That’s also one of the reasons that I chose to put my journal out there as well – different aspects of my journal are on the wall. I wanted people to know that if you’re going through these similar experiences, that it doesn’t always have one ending. It doesn’t always have to be the happy ending that you’re expecting, but the end can be an open door to a new beginning that you were totally unaware of – something that’s so exciting, and that’s what this show is to me.”
In Metamorphosis, Crawford uses bold colors to convey a message. An androgynous, human-like figure with bright orange, yellow, green, red, blue and purple wings sheds its cocoon – emerging as a butterfly and completing its transition to fly up into from the yellow flowers and into the blue-hued sky.
“Paintings to me are like a dance,” says Crawford. “I like the brush on the canvas. I like the way the oil moves on the canvas. When I paint, I like color. I just love painting in color. When I’m drawing, drawing for me is a meditative process … Right now, in the present, [my favorite painting is] Metamorphosis. Metamorphosis and [Looking Through] Oshun’s Mirror are the beginning of another series of artwork. So now I’m eagerly waiting to see what’s going to come out of it … I see color. I see brightness. I see nature coming together with human nature, but I don’t see yet the image.”
Metamorphosis is on display at the Triton Museum, 1505 Warburton Ave., until Sunday, March 29. Visit http://tritonmuseum.org/exhibitions_JoyceMcEwanCrawford.php for more information.