Group Dynamic

Group Dynamic

Anne Wedler
Friday, October 16, 2020 to Friday, December 18, 2020

I am an observational painter interested in narrative and visual metaphor. I find figure painting to be a natural fit for story telling. The extreme can feel so real and unreal at the same time. I love the chaos and adventure of human interaction augmented by the process of growing and trying to make it through life. I place the people in my work at odds with each other or their environments and it comes out a mixture of complicated feelings. I like balancing the fun of chaos with the dual joy and torture of intimacy; solitude as a sanctuary and penance. The feeling of longing or the drive of curiosity is like the painting processes itself.  

In the series Group Dynamic the figures wear bright red coats to protect themselves from the harsh environments they explore. One wrong choice separates them from danger. Their safety gear highlights how precarious their position is while also making them a matching set. Some groups work together. Some groups divide, stragglers left behind, others going alone. The lessons of cooperation have never been more important than now. What will our group dynamic be? The images are intentionally playful, with toy-like people. The images are intended to be beautiful but also range from ominous to hopeful. This lightness makes the topic of danger approachable.  It is relatable but still separate and contained in a fiction. It can be explored as an idea without the burden of the reality of individuals, because the story isn’t about a hero as much as it is about decision-making and group cooperation, or the consequences of social dissonance. 

The matching red coats make the figures a group emphasizing their similarities with no other identities known reinforcing the idea of a group. No gender or age or nationality is visible, they are simply groups of people working together, or drifting apart into a cold dangerous world. This cautionary tail is a reminder of the perils of self interest, a reminder to work together, safety in numbers, of what really maters, getting through safely.  

We need every reminder to work with the group, look for similarities, danger is all around, but nothing is more dangerous than how we face our problems. The icebergs and glaciers are intended to remind us of that thing we are all supposed to be working together to save, our vulnerable shared planet. This should be the ultimate unifying struggle. The images remind us of the choices we have and that our actions are key. Don’t go it alone, doing leave people behind.