Karey Kessler

THIS UNGRASPABLE WHOLE, 3'x6', ink on paper, 2021

My paintings are about the urgency of the moment we are living in (both in terms of climate change and environmental justice) and at the same time they tell stories of deep geologic time, eternity, infiniteness, and traces of mystery. There is a back and forth between mark making and labeling that happens when I’m creating my map-paintings. I start out by using ink and watercolor to make an assortment of dots and lines and pools of color. Those marks and colors evoke feelings, thoughts and memories that I then label. I keep a running list of words and phrases from from poetry books, novels, science texts and Jewish texts that I draw upon when working on a piece. For me, my maps create a bridge between spiritual places and physical locations. They play on the fact that the Hebrew word for 'the Place,' ha-Makom, is also used as a name for God.