Leaving Leaves–Between Seasons

Welcome to Leaving Leaves–Between Seasons. This body of work is meant to create an opportunity for the reduction of suffering. Scientific studies occurring over the past twenty years have shown that viewing representations of the natural world can help ease pain and stress. Articles: Emergency Waiting Rooms,  Clemson Study, Healthcare Design Magazine, Color Balance, Visual Landscapes, Art Does Heal,  Art in Healthcare,  Art & HealingNBC News, Trends, Picture of Health. This MFA Thesis exhibition is comprised of two parts. (“Between Seasons” & “Leaving Leaves”) Between Seasons is a landscape painting meant to temporarily alleviate or distract from pain by presenting a peaceful place to imagine one’s self in.

Leaving Leaves is a participatory artwork that provides an opportunity to share experiences of loss. The act of sharing difficult experiences can allow for a possibility of private pain to be put into a political or social context, or the discovery that one isn’t alone. Leaves, specifically in the phenomenon of deciduous foliage changing color and shedding leaves in Autumn, serve as visual metaphors for change and a releasing of experiences into a broader context. In addition to being symbols for what we have lost or left behind during our lifetime, the leaves in this project are also meant to be a source of comfort (see the previously mentioned scientific studies). Containers holding paper leaves rotated to 14 different venues in Greenville, NC. Inscribed on the containers were prompts to take a leaf from one bin, write down or draw about an experience of loss, and then to leave the altered leaf in an adjacent bin.  These rotating site installations included a written welcome to look at and touch both the blank and altered leaves.

I collected all of the leaves that were written on, and exhibited them together at the East Carolina Heart Institute with “Between Seasons”, the previously mentioned landscape painting. Leaving Leaves creates therapeutic opportunities through the reading and writing of experiences on the leaves.