Hungary Artist Residency
The Budapest artist residency in Hungary was four weeks fraught with high heat and humidity, intense emotion, and political tension. I happened to arrive at exactly the same time a huge wave of asylum seekers arrived at the border. Hungary, then and now, struggled with their response, and this crisis of humanity hangs over the city of Budapest. Please view this series of work through the lens of the current refugee crisis plus the historical WW2 Nazi and Soviet occupations of this particular place.
After finding vintage pre-WW2 era photos, I began obsessively drawing the patterns of the beautiful Matthias Church on the figures in the photos. The photos were all taken before the horrors of the impending war. This repetitive drawing was a source of calm and meditation. As I drew, the stories of Hungary swam around in my head, then literally swam around the figures in concentric circles. I particularly connected to the old photos of children, who I imagined had lived a lifetime in their few years.
Since the Budapest artist residency, I have continued drawing on old photos, transforming the photo’s initial story into a new narrative. My drawings recreate the figures as Navigators, not victims, using crutches as a means of support in that navigation through environmental, political, and personal mayhem.
Media: pen/markers/colored pencils on vintage photos