The Noisiest Years Of Silence
Video Projection / Sound / Boat / Eggshells
10' x 32', 23:00 Loop / Sample Clip 4:58, 2021
My project "The Noisiest Years of Silence" addresses the disconnect felt in 2020 as the world
shut down and challenged us to live with isolation, worry, and fear. The work is the culmination of trying to distill the silence with the noise: being in the still woods when I heard George Floyd had been killed, looking over open fields when children were being kept in cages, the sadness when the tree saplings I planted and cared for grew stronger, while the west was on fire. Trying to stay safe and keep others safe during a time of so much danger, anger, and hatred was daunting.
Be safe, stay home. Slices of noisy harsh news cut through my silence like a knife.
For two years NYOS grew to include: photo, video, sound, and mixed media. The photography
references imagery included in the videos: people in small boats trying to hold on to each other, sometimes letting go, sometimes just empty boats. And the sounds: birds, water, singing, sirens, protests, crying. The work is light and dark. These photos pull the ideas together as layers:
relationships, nature, media, and the dark reality of our world in what feels like a freefall. Words from the installation convey the whiplash from silence to noise and back:
"Be safe. Stay home. The streets are empty. Neighbors sing from balconies. Sew masks and
think of loved ones. Birdsongs in the morning. > 600,000 dead and rising. They killed her. Killed
him. 9 mins 26 secs. Protestors beaten. Patients lay in tents. No one can breathe. > The
wildflowers are blooming. I found an orioles nest - a stunning weave of grass and tinsel. The
moon is beautiful. So quiet here."
Beginning only in my head as I laid awake and worried night after night, the project took years to complete. Much of my work in the past has included the awareness that we all have the capacity to care for each other across distance and time, even people we will never know. Back and forth, trying to find my way, the noisiest years of silence was my constant reminder.