Curator’s review of my latest work

Bellingham National 2019: "Water's Edge: Landscapes For Today"

“If you don’t know the kind of person I am, and I don’t know the kind of person you are, a pattern that others made may prevail in the world, and following the wrong gods home we may miss our star.” – William Stafford

Progression comes not only from doing, but from reflecting upon what we do, and adjusting for the next step forward.  As creatures of habit, living in a society that values structure, routine, and efficiency, it is often easy to overlook or ignore the importance of consideration, and walk along the same path.  Repetition, though the path itself is stemmed with avenues of opportunity for change, can render one complacent or stagnant, destined only to follow a predetermined sequence.

“Following the Wrong Gods Home”, a series of oil paintings by Patricia Halsell, depicts intimate studies of river stone beds that line the banks of the Skagit River in the North Cascades. Conceptually, her meticulous observations stand more as reflective commentary on the impact human industrial growth has had on the surrounding environment, and the push to re-evaluate our interactions with nature in all of its simplicities and complexities. From my perspective, the carefully curated selection created space for a cathartic, cogitative experience. It felt almost as if I was crawling along the ground, exploring the miniature pockets of life that stir within the hollows between rocks, wood and soil. Sitting alone in the silent gallery, immersed in naturally soothing applications of color and layers of stone, I found myself re-visiting walks I would take along the rocky shores of Ireland, or explorations along the stream beds of rural Connecticut; places I call home, that harbor natural safe havens for me to sit alone with my internal narratives and reverberations. Spaces where I could digest my own human experience, and follow in toe the gods that would guide me along my own path to self-progression.

                                                                        -Yelverton Freeman, Art Curator